Offbeat biopic Aline panned by Celine Dion’s siblings

Montreal – Celine Dion’s brother and sister have trashed the offbeat French biopic Aline: The Voice Of Love, a fictional film inspired by the Canadian singer’s rise from child stardom to queen of soft rock and opening in cinemas here on Dec 2.

“I don’t recognise the language, I don’t recognise my family, I don’t recognise our roots,” Claudette Dion, the Grammy winner’s sister, told popular Quebec radio show La Semaine des 4 Julie.

She and brother Michel Dion, who appeared as guests on the show, said the “humour misses the mark”, several scenes “went too far” and they accused Valerie Lemercier, who directs and stars in the movie as the titular protagonist, of wildly distorting their famous sibling’s life and personality.

Dion’s manager was Rene Angelil from 1981, when she was 12 and he was 38, until two years before his death in 2016. They married in 1994.

“My mother never spoke like that to Rene, and Celine never wanted for anything. We pass for a gang of classless grumps,” Claudette said.

Valerie Lemercier in Aline.SHAW ORGANISATION

Critics at the Cannes Film Festival where Aline had its world premiere in July were divided over whether this unpretentious account of the megastar was a “sincere and moving homage” or “so pointless as a film that you can only see it as an extravagant piece of conceptual art”.

The filmmakers said then that they tweaked the star’s name to Aline Dieu to give them some wriggle room over the details of Dion’s story, though claimed it hews closely to her real life and songs.

“The film we saw, Claudette and I, is not exactly what we expected,” said Michel, who has accompanied Dion on tour for 30 years as a stage manager. 

On Sunday, Lemercier revealed to the local television talk show Tout le monde en parle that she’d never met Dion, but has become a big fan.

She said she tried to make the film “touching and funny like her”.

“I hope she will see the care we have all taken to pay tribute to her,” she said, adding that she hoped “that one day (Dion) will see it and that it will please her”. - AFP