The 10 shooting locations of Audrey Tautou's films
Amélie Poulain opens the doors of international cinema to him.
Born on August 9, 1976, Audrey Tautou was made for the cinema from birth. She was named after the great actress Audrey Hepburn. After studying modern literature, she attended the Cours Florent in Paris.
His career began with Tonie Marshall. The director made her film in Vénus Beauté (Institut) in 1999. Her role as Mary earned her a Caesar for the best female hope. She was then revealed to the general public thanks to Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s film, Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain. Then comes the Spanish inn of Cédric Klapisch. These two successes opened the doors of international cinema for him. She then shot Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things and Ron Howard’s Da Vinci Code in 2006.
Coco avant Chanel, Ensemble c’est tout, De vrais mensonges, La délicatse, Thérèse Desqueyroux, L’écume des jours, Les poupées russes, Casse-tête chinois, L’odyssée or The Jesus Rolls, all these feature films reveal a career between blockbusters and independent films.
In 10 filming locations, discover the most outstanding films of Audrey Tautou’s career.
The fabulous destiny of Amélie Poulain (Jean-Pierre Jeunet – 2001)
Le café des deux moulins, 15 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris, France
Café des deux moulins
Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tautou) works as a waitress in this café, which has become an icon of international cinema since Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s film. And yet, the director had to insist to the former owner to be able to put his cameras there. After discovering the place at a luncheon in October 1999, his first application was turned down. At the head of the establishment since 1986, Claude Labbé does not want to impose a shake-up on other businesses. Jean-Pierre Jeunet is committed to doing everything possible to disturb as little as possible: no weekend shoots or delivery hours, no cables on the sidewalk or production trucks on the street… After interviewing his loyal customers, almost all of them in favour, Claude Labbé agreed. He won’t regret it. “I had a wonderful and unique experience with this film. Today, we come from the United States to visit Les Deux Moulins. Jean-Pierre Jeunet was able to perfectly capture the charm of the Parisian cafés and all the poetry of the neighbourhood,” he says when he retired in 2002.Read more
And this connection with the work is so strong that he decides to sell his establishment, not to the highest bidder, but to the one “most able to preserve Amelie’s cafe.” It still lives on and is part of the attraction of the place. The map is entirely turned around the film, with crème brûlées among the best sellers, and tourists parade to photograph it. Years after filming, some even asked Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Jodie Foster to step aside so as not to be on their picture. They had not recognized either the director or the actress. Only the tobacco counter, run by Georgette (Isabelle Nanty), no longer exists today. During filming, smoking customers sometimes begged the actress to sell them cigarettes. More than just a coffee, a myth!
A long engagement Sunday (Jean-Pierre Jeunet – 2004)
The house of Mathilde, Castel Meur, The house of the abyss, 22820 Plougrescant
Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) lives in this house located in the heart of the Côtes d’Armor department. In 2004, Jean-Pierre Jeunet set up his cameras there. He is seduced by this house set between two enormous granite blocks.
This unusual construction is the pride of the commune of Plougrescant and even becomes the symbol of the small town. It is found on many postcards and its fame is then international. It is named Castel Meur, the “big castle” in Breton, when it is very small. Built in 1861, it turns its back on the sea. A barrier prohibits any passage. You will have to photograph it or observe it from a distance. It should be noted that this area is a nesting site for gravel, a bird species protected under the OPA.
The Spanish Hostel (Cédric Klapisch – 2001)
Le Soleil de la butte, 33 rue Feutrier, 75018 Paris
The separation of Xavier (Romain Duris) and Martine (Audrey Tautou) occurs in this restaurant at the end of this film that popularized the Erasmus study system. Following this feature film, the expression “Spanish hostel” entered everyday language to refer to this form of sharing between people from different cultures and countries.
In the English subtitles of the film, several sections are deliberately mistranslated in order to keep the humorous spirit of the feature film. Thus, the list of foreign names around Paris is changed to “Honolulu, Punxsutawney, Piccadilly, Massachusetts, Saskatoon and Machu Picchu”. As well as the scene where Wendy (Kelly Reilly) mispronounces: “Xavier is not here…”, the subtitle is then: “Xavier eez not here…”.
The Da Vinci Code (Ron Howard – 2006)
La pyramide du Louvre, 99 rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris
Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) visits the Louvre twice. First of all at the beginning of the story, when the curator is found murdered inside the museum, with strange symbols near his body. Then, at the end for the plot’s denouement. He goes there with Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), a cryptologist. It is here, under a stone reproduction, that Mary Magdalene’s tomb is supposed to be hidden.
Following the book and then the film, many people thought that this story was real, because of the concordance between the dates and the historical facts. Small precision however, the pyramid does not count 666 but 689 facets. Jacques Chirac intervened with the Louvre Museum to obtain the necessary authorizations for Ron Howard to film there at night. A large part of the scenes were filmed in the studio, however, to avoid putting the works of art at risk.
Coco before Chanel (Anne Fontaine – 2009)
The Chanel boutique, 31 rue Cambon, 75001 Paris
The end of the film takes place in the historic Chanel store on rue Cambon. We see Coco (Audrey Tautou) watching a fashion show from the Art Deco staircase of the shop decorated with mirrors. The dresses used for this one were lent to the production by the Chanel Conservatory. Gabrielle Chanel used to sit on the fifth step to watch the performance without being seen. She exhibited her collections on the first floor where the configuration of the premises remained as she had wished. Her apartment was on the second floor and has also been preserved as it was when she lived there, with its furniture and knick-knacks. It was used for her to work and to receive, but it has no rooms, since the great seamstress stayed at the Ritz.
Thérèse Desqueyroux (Claude Miller – 2012)
The Desqueyroux castle, Château Trincaud, 33910 Bonzac
In the 1920s, in southwestern France, Thérèse Laroque (Audrey Tautou) married Bernard Desqueyroux (Gilles Lellouche) through a good family marriage between wealthy heirs. They both settled in a vast estate in the Landes. A hunter and man of the soil, Bernard loves this new life, while Thérèse quickly becomes bored to the point of setting up a ploy to poison her husband.
Based on the eponymous novel by François Mauriac published in 1927, Thérèse Desqueyroux was made into a film three times: in 1962 by Georges Franju, in 2012 by Claude Miller and in 2014 by Jules Emile.
The director of The Little Thief decides to set up his cameras at the Château Trincaud for the scenes on the Desqueyroux family estate. Private property, the building dating from 1857 is not open to the public. So you can admire it from afar. This residence is inspired by foreign architecture and strongly resembles the seaside villas of the Normandy coast. It has slate roofs and gabled walls. Today, the property produces Bordeaux Supérieur classified wine.
The feature film is the final film directed by Claude Miller, who died in April 2012. Thérèse Desqueyroux was screened at the closing of the Cannes Film Festival in May of the same year. The filmmaker was therefore unable to participate in this event.
Together, that’s all (Claude Berri – 2007)
La Coupole, 84-90 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75014 Paris, France
Philibert (Laurent Stocker) lives in a large apartment inherited from his grandmother (Françoise Bertin). He hosts his friend Franck (Guillaume Canet), a young cook. He also takes in Camille (Audrey Tautou) whose maid’s room where she lives is modest. She tries to earn money by cleaning offices in the capital and has a special gift for drawing. The three characters come to eat at La Coupole.
The restaurant used as a set for the film is La Coupole, located in the 14th arrondissement in Paris. This brasserie in the Montparnasse district was inaugurated in 1927. His art deco style is immediately appealing and his success is immense. Numerous artists and intellectuals frequented him, including Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, Georges Braque, Giacometti, Joséphine Baker, Pablo Picasso, André Malraux, Jacques Prévert, Marc Chagall but also Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. His painted pillars made him famous. A group of artists in the 1980s, Les Piliers de la Coupole, organized a competition to renovate those that had been infiltrated. Robert Combas, Hervé Di Rosa, Keith Haring and Ricardo Mosner are participating. The latter won it and then painted a pillar. As for Alexandre Auffrey’s, it is classified as a historical monument.
The Odyssey (Jérôme Salle – 2016)
La Calypso Mooring Location, Robben Island, 7400, South Africa
The Odyssey tells the incredible story of La Calypso, Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s boat, played by Lambert Wilson. In 1950, the famous commander leased the ship to a wealthy British man. It was then used as a base to explore the sea bed and film documentaries such as Le Monde du silence co-directed with Louis Malle (1956). Cousteau welcomes Albert Falco (Vincent Heneine) and his wife Simone (Audrey Tautou), the manager of life on board. Later, his son Philippe (Pierre Niney) joined them.
The filming of the film is international. Jérôme Salle’s cameras are set up in France (Biscarosse) as well as in Brazil, Antarctica, Argentina and Croatia (for the Côte d’Azur and the Cousteau house). A replica of La Calypso anchored off Robben Island in South Africa. Situated in front of Cape Town, this island is famous for the illustrious prisoner who was imprisoned there: Nelson Mandela. He was held there for 17 years from 1962. The president of the country between 1994 and 1999 was not the only one of the African National Congress to have stayed there. So was the current president Jacob Zuma.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau brought many inventions to the underwater world. Thus, he created the scuba diving suit, the diving saucer, the turbosail or the dry suit. These technical advances, however, are hardly mentioned in the film.
L’écume des jours (Michel Gondry – 2013)
Scène de danse du Biglemoi, Le musée Grévin, 10 boulevard Montmartre, 75009 Paris
Very rich, Colin (Romain Duris) meets Chloé (Audrey Tautou) during an evening where her friend Nicolas (Omar Sy) invited her. They fall in love and get married. But the young woman falls seriously ill during the honeymoon.
The Biglemoi dance scene, invented by the group of friends, was filmed in the Mirages Palace of the Grévin Museum. This room is a huge kaleidoscope, ideal for the musical sequence since it allows to enlarge the space and to play on the perspective effects. This palace was originally an attraction created by Eugène Hénard for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. The Musée Grévin bought it and operated it six years later. L’écume des jours was rewarded by the César for the best sets designed by Stéphane Rozenbaum. Despite the cast and the director’s name, the film was a semi-failure with 831,000 admissions. Two years later, Michel Gondry had Audrey Tautou back in Microbe et Gasoil.
Delicacy (Stéphane and David Foenkinos – 2011)
Restaurant Les cailloux, 58 Rue des cinq Diamants, 75013 Paris
Nathalie (Audrey Tautou) is happy. She is married to a loving man, François (Pio Marmaï) and has a fulfilling job. But this happiness is shattered when her husband is hit by a car and dies. Her morale declines and she dives into her files to forget her grief. One day, she kisses Markus (François Damiens), an employee of her company. This idyll brings her back to life.
Nathalie meets François in this restaurant in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. This establishment offers Italian dishes (pizzas, carpaccios, sardines, aubergine gratin and antipastis). The delicacy is based on the eponymous novel by David Foenkinos, co-director of the film with his brother Stéphane. The book had just come out in bookstores that the two filmmakers were still editing the feature film. The story was also declined in a comic strip by Cyril Bonin at the Futuropolis editions in 2016.
The Fantrippers Buying Board
The Paris guide to the 1000 cult places of films, series, music, comics and novels
The coolest guide in Paris!
The café of Amélie, the mansion of Untouchables, the jazz club of the finale of La La Land, the Hôtel du Nord of the mythical replica of Arletty “Atmosphere”, the cinema of A bout de souffle, the restaurant of Ratatouille, the quays of the Seine of Midnight in Paris, the secret places of the Da Vinci Code, the grocery store of January in La Traversée de Paris , the Bridge of Inception and Peur sur la ville, the addresses of the spectacular scenes of Mission Impossible 6, but also series Call my agent, Gears, Le Bureau des légendes, Sense8, Sex and The City, Gossip Girl…
Etienne Daho’s Café de Flore, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s hotel in Nas in Paris, Serge Gainsbourg’s Poinçonneur des Lilas metro station, Serge Reggiani and Marc Lavoine’s Mirabeau Bridge, Mc Solaar’s Lyon station…
The places evoked in the comics Adèle Blanc-Sec, Largo Winch, Blake and Mortimer, Michel Vaillant…
But also in the novels of Ernest Hemingway, Victor Hugo, Leo Malet, Daniel Pennac, Marc Levy, Guillaume Musso… you’ll find all the must-see places of Parisian Pop Culture in this new guide.
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By Anthony Thibault