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Audrey Tautou is the gamine’s gamine and nobody’s supermodel, but that’s just why director Pascale Bailly cast her as a mannequin in “God is Great, I’m Not,” opening Friday in New York. “I wanted to show her out of place,” Bailly says. “She’s not very tall. She shouldn’t be a model.”
Bailly should know. She herself modeled as an 18-year-old. “I was unsure of myself and not in the right place,” she remembers with a sigh. But while Bailly turned to filmmaking for her salvation, Tautou’s Michèle goes in for religion. One week she meditates Buddhist style, the next she is fasting for Yom Kippur as she bumbles along from photo shoot to fashion show. Of course, in the end it’s François, a veterinarian, played by Edouard Baer, who provides solace, questioning her motivations and loving her in spite of them. It’s a love story, after all.
While modeling might not be her character’s forte, the wardrobe Khadija Zeggal created for Tautou was perfectly model-appropriate. She’s dressed in bohemian classics — cozy vintage sweaters, multicolored scarves and slouchy bags, from Parisian flea markets like the Marche aux Puces and Clignancourt — just like her glamazon counterparts.
In the funniest scene in the film, however, Tautou is dressed in a very editorial look: a bubble-wrap dress and matching hat. It’s every model’s nightmare. As she stands behind a giant chair posing this way and that in a photo studio, the photographer becomes inspired. He shoots only her index finger wrapped around the back of the chair.