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"She does a phenomenal job."Emanuel's cast is rounded out by Jessica Biel ("She's gonna be a revelation to audiences who will be able to see her in a new light"), Alfred Molina, and Frances O'Connor."I take the casting process really seriously," Gregorini said. Gregorini has an impressive history of casting future A-listers in her films ("I have good taste," she joked); Tanner Hall also gave Brie Larson, now an awards contender for Short Term 12, one of her first major supporting roles.
It's not far-fetched to believe that Scodelario, who is receiving high praise for Emanuel, will be the next Gregorini-discovered actress to find stardom."You can only be as good as the parts that you are given," Gregorini said, adding, "ultimately, it's about the connection that you, a director, can make to them as a person and as an actor.
Grouping directors together by gender is inane; Gregorini's movies have as much in common with Bigelow's as Her does with 12 Years a Slave.
Yet rather than complain, Gregorini embraces the "female director" label and all that comes with it."It's wildly important that stories are told by female filmmakers, because after all, we are half of the population, last that I checked."For Gregorini, being a woman directing movies isn't enough.
Gregorini spent the next several months looking for a new leading actress, only stumbling upon Scodelario, a 21-year-old known best for playing Effy on Skins, after leaving L. in the hopes of having better luck in London."The movie kind of rests on her shoulders," Gregorini said.
The film is part-drama, part-thriller, and part-CGI, a compelling, original mix of realism and fantasy."What I think resonates is the emotional truth of things," Gregorini said.
"As long as you have that, you have the license to go into the absurd and go into fantasy and other things, and it still holds water."Emanuel premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it received a nomination for the prestigious Grand Jury Prize, an honor especially gratifying when considering the years it took just to get Gregorini's film made at all."A lot of times people make movies and they never get released, and you just can't imagine going through that much work and nothing happening," she said. I just remember literally, like, crying, going, 'oh my god, thank god.'"The journey to make The Truth About Emanuel began nearly half a decade ago, when Gregorini first wrote a second film for Rooney Mara, who had become a close friend after Tanner Hall.
She has some tips that she follows in regard to keeping herself physically fit: She cooks her own food which mainly consists of vegetables and proteins.
When people talk about director Francesca Gregorini, it's usually not about her.