Kooky Celine Dion Drama ‘Aline’ Brings ‘Titanic’ Homage and Leopard Pants to Cannes — and Leaves People in Tears

Celine Dion did not make the trip to 74th Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of “Aline,” a French musical drama inspired by the life of the Quebecois superstar.

But if she’d attended the premiere on Tuesday night in the South of France, it’s hard to know if she’d be flattered or horrified. The most likely answer? Probably both.

“Aline” is directed and stars comedian Valerie Lemercier (think of her as the Kristen Wiig or Ana Gasteyer of France) in the title role, a musical sensation known as Aline Dieu.

But “Aline” is more of an homage — with traces of a Lifetime movie — than a roman a clef. From the opening credits, the movie admits to being inspired by Dion’s career, and at times it plays like a paint-by-the-numbers biopic.

The black-tie, buttoned-up Cannes crowd seemed to be pumped for the occasion, with a few Celine super fans bringing their own Las Vegas style to the Palais. One man donned leopard pants and a matching print on his iPhone case.

“Aline” recreates some of Dion’s biggest career moments, including her performance of the Oscar-winning “Titanic” song “My Heart Will Go On” at the Oscars.

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Like Celine, Aline marries her manager (played in the film by Sylvain Marcel), moves to Vegas for a never-ending residency and struggles with infertility before giving birth to her three children, a boy followed by twins. The songs in the film are not sung by Lemercier (who lip syncs to a smattering of Dion tracks, such as “Let’s Talk About Love,” on a revolving loop, performed by another singer).

The movie also leans hard on non-Celine songs throughout, or covers that she’s performed — such as “Nature Boy” or “River Deep, Mountain High,” which may have been easier to clear.

As the credits rolled, the premiere audience whooped with approval. The standing ovation for “Aline” lasted for a full five minutes. 

“I was actually crying,” said one French attendee at the film’s bittersweet conclusion.

“Aline” does not yet have distribution in the United States.

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