The Odyssey

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France | 2016 | 122 minutes | Jérôme Salle

Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau (Lambert Wilson) revolutionized sea exploration with his vessel Calypso, a crew of free-spirited adventurers, and his inventive ideas. Filled with spectacular underwater sequences, this epic biopic explores the adventures as well as the home life of an iconic oceanographer.

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It is worth noting that the crisp underwater photography seen in Jerome Salle's latest film, The Odyssey, would likely not exist without the subject of the biopic, oceanographer, explorer, author, and conservationist Jacques Cousteau—one of the few real-life people worthy of a Homeric title. Covering about 30 years of the Frenchman's eclectic life, the film recounts some of Cousteau's greatest accomplishments—from the development of the first "Aqua-Lung" underwater breathing device, to the launching of his research vessel "Calypso," to his more than 120 TV documentaries that turned him and his family into global stars. Played by Lambert Wilson, Cousteau cuts a dashing figure, but Salle does not shy away from the pain the captain left in his wake, including the many marital infidelities endured by his long-suffering wife, Simone (Audrey Tatou). Like a shadow across a crystalline lagoon, the tragic end of Cousteau's son, Philippe—who died in a 1979 seaplane crash—lingers over the film as a somber framing device for the elder Cousteau's legacy. Meticulously researched by Salle and brought to vivid life by cinematographer Matias Boucard, The Odyssey reveals the true man behind the iconic red watch cap and gives viewers a chance to swim in harmony with the leviathans of the deep.

Director Biography

In a decade-long tour de force, Jérôme Salle directed five critically acclaimed films between 2005 and 2016. His film Anthony Zimmer was nominated for Best First Film at the Cesar Awards in 2005.

Sponsored by Alliance Francaise de Seattle, French American Cultural Society, French Immersion School of Washington, The French American School of Puget Sound, Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association, TV5MONDE

  • Original Language Title: L'Odyssée
  • Director: Jérôme Salle
  • Principal Cast: Lambert Wilson, Pierre Niney, Audrey Tautou, Laurent Lucas, Benjamin Lavernhe, Vincent Heneine
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: France, Belgium
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 122 minutes
  • Producer: Nathalie Gastaldo Godeau, Philippe Godeau, Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missonnier
  • Screenplay: Jerome Salle, Laurent Turner
  • Cinematographers: Matias Boucard
  • Editors: Stan Collet
  • Music: Alexandre Desplat
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: San Sebastian Film Festival 2016 (Greenpeace - Lurra Award)
  • Filmography: Zulu (2013); Largo Winch II (2011); Largo Winch I (2008); Anthony Zimmer (2005)
  • Language: French
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Wild Bunch