ADDRESSES: Agent—Catherine Winckelmuller, Agents Associes, 201 FBG Saint Honoré, 75008 Paris, France.
CAREER: Writer. Affiliated with Montorgueil Theatre, 1988–92. Has worked as a waiter, dispatch rider, and deliveryman. Military service: Served as corporal in the marines.
AWARDS, HONORS: César award for best film, and Academy Award nominations for best original screenplay and best foreign-language film, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, award, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, all 2002, all for Amelie from Montmartre.
(With Jean-Pierre Jeunet) Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (screenplay; released in the U.S. as Amelie from Montmartre), 2001.
Effroyables jardins (screenplay; also released as Strange Garden), 2003.
Je m'appelle Elisabeth, 2006.
Les annees porte fenetres, Seuil (Paris, France), 2003.
Happy Hand, Seuil (Paris, France), 2006.
Also author of unproduced screenplay Life of Pi. Author of scenarios and dialog for several films, including Cité des enfants perdus, 1995, Un samedi sur la terre, 1996, and Un long dimanche de fiançailles, 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Guillaume Laurant began his career in the theater as an actor, but eventually began to write as well. He won acclaim for his screenplay Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, written with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (and released in the United States as Amelie from Montmartre), and for his collaborative work with Jeunet on Un long dimanche de fiançailles.
Amelie from Montmartre is the story of a whimsical young woman who, after being misdiagnosed with a heart condition as a child, grows up in overprotected, isolated circumstances. The child creates a rich fantasy life for herself, and this fantastic element carries over into her adult life as well. Working as a waitress in the colorful, seedy Montmartre district of Paris, Amelie engages in her own brand of creative social work, and her "adjustments to reality are wildly entertaining," according to Lisa Nesselson in Variety. When Amelie herself falls in love, she feels compelled to make an elaborate game out of that as well. "The movie segues into a rumination on loss and the perils of being too playful," noted Elvis Mitchell in a New York Times review.
Un long dimanche de fiançailles, released in the United States as A Very Long Engagement, is the story of a woman, Mathilde, whose fiance, Manech, is presumed dead in World War I. Refusing to give up hope, Mathilde mounts a search for the truth and for her husband-to-be. Through flashbacks, the movie shows the grim realities of war, and although the story is at times "confusing," in the estimation of Las Vegas Weekly reviewer Josh Bell, audiences will find that "Mathilde's optimism is infectious."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Houston Chronicle, March 11, 2004, Eric Harrison, review of Amelie from Montmartre.
Las Vegas Weekly, December 23, 2004, Josh Bell, review of A Very Long Engagement.
New York Times, November 2, 2001, Elvis Mitchell, review of Amelie from Montmartre; November 26, 2004, Manohla Dargis, review of A Very Long Engagement.
Variety, April 30, 2001, Lisa Nesselson, review of Amelie from Montmartre, p. 26.