Nicole Garcia, has already featured seven times in the Official Selection, as an actress (My American Uncle in 1980, Little Lili in 2003…) as an director (The Adversary in 2002, Charlie Says in 2006), as a member of the Feature Film Jury in 2000 and finally as President of the Caméra d’or Jury in 2014. Having matured over the years, her project Mal de Pierres (From the Land of the Moon), her third in Competition, is a novelistic adaptation of the book by Italy's Milena Agus, starring Marion Cotillard as the lovestruck heroine.
The director speaks enthusiastically of the moment she fell in love with the novel by Milena Agus, while nevertheless confessing to the difficulties she experienced (with fellow screenwriter Jacques Fieschi) in bringing it onto the screen. "Sometimes you can have ellipses in novels which don't work in film. So we needed to select a new era in order to make it into a film. The period chosen was after the Second World War, featuring the quest for pure love of a young woman who refuses to relinquish her dreams.
For the part of a passionate young woman from the farming middle classes, Garcia chose Marion Cotillard (who is also in Competition with It's Only the End of the World by Xavier Dolan), as the obvious candidate to play Gabrielle, who is hopelessly in love with the lieutenant played by Louis Garrel.
"Women's characters interest me when they have this vibrant, trembling, poetic dimension. There's something about the madness of women that I find attractive, when they carry fragility within them – the possibility of tipping over the edge..."
The director always takes the decor into account when writing, and situates the story of this eighth feature film in Savoy, with Aix-les-Bains and its thermal baths. "Those are the sort of atmospheres I dream of when writing."