Profile - Pierre Salvadori

Name Pierre Salvadori

Born Tunisia, 1964

Background A former actor and TV sitcom writer, Salvadori made his feature debut with Wild Target in 1993, a deadpan farce concerning a middle-aged hit man (Jean Rochefort) and his young apprentice (Guillaume Depardieu). The writer-director has gone on to specialise in comedies, including the Parisian odd-couple tale Les Apprentis, which paired Francois Cluzet and Guillaume Depardieu and Apres-Vous, which starred Daniel Auteil as an uptight good Samaritan embroiled in a romantic triangle.

What’s he up to now? Salvadori’s latest, the bittersweet comedy Priceless echoes Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Set in the opulent surroundings of the French Riviera, it sees Audrey Tautou’s gold-digging Irene torn between wealthy, elderly benefactors and charming, handsome waiter Jean (Gad Elmaleh)
What he says about comedy ‘To me comedy is a very cinematic genre. I would love to do a burlesque comedy without any dialogue: it would be movement, ellipsis, poetry, montage, rhythm, irony and pure situation, and it would reflect on the human condition without being explicitly psychological.

What he says about love ‘The problem with romantic comedies is that they provide love as a solution to everything, when often it’s the beginning of a lot of problems. I think Irene goes with Jean not so much because of love, but out of animal instinct, out of jealousy.’

What he says about Audrey Tautou ‘She’s such a cinematic actress. I needed her to save Irene’s character. Irene is so cruel and tough, and so I had to have somebody who is charming, and ironic, and poetic in order to make her loveable. There’s something childish about Audrey’s look. If I had taken a tall blonde to play Irene, she would have been terrifying.’

Interesting fact Salvadori’s favourite film is Ernst Lubitsch’s Trouble in Paradise.

Priceless is on selected release from Fri 13 Jun.

Priceless (Hors de prix)

  • 3 stars
  • 2006
  • France
  • 1h 44min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Pierre Salvadori
  • Written by: Pierre Salvadori, Benoît Graffin
  • Cast: Gad Elmaleh, Audrey Tautou, Marie-Christine Adam

This frothy comedy set in the mildly tragic world of upmarket Riviera hotels, restaurants and boutiques sees Irène (Tautou) desperately gold digging from an aging sugar daddy. Meanwhile, luckless bar tender Jean (Elmaleh) is developing a bit of a crush on this cynical young lady, but with no cash in his pocket shes just…

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