What would happen if Leon the Professional fell in love with Amélie from Paris's Montmartre?
A sensitive 18-year-old girl (Patrycja Soliman) unable to find her place in the present-day world, and a young gangster (Marcin Dorociński). The two meet in a psychiatric hospital. She has been sent there by her parents who are unable to cope with her over-sensitivity. He is in hospital for observation - he's been simulating a mental disease to give himself an alibi before a planned murder he's been hired to commit. Disarmed by Louise's innocence and defencelessness, Fabio takes her under his care. The relationship slowly grows into an affection which is tough and which many see as being practically doomed to failure.
What would happen if Leon the Professional fell in love with Amélie from Paris's Montmartre? Maciej Wojtyszko, the director of Ogród Luizy / Louise's Garden, and Witold Horwath, who wrote the screenplay, asked themselves this question and took it very seriously. The story they tell tries to go beyond charming platitudes such as "the heart knows no master" or anything's possible in love...
"It's very hard to show mental illness on screen, especially in an entertainment film. Maciej Wojtyszko does an excellent job. His heroine is schizophrenic, but it's not quite clear to what extent her condition is caused by changes in her brain and how much of it is due to her immense over-sensitivity which her family and closest circle are unable to understand", wrote Barbara Hollender ("Rzeczpospolita on-line" 10 April 2008).
The director himself said:
"... I was afraid of showing emotionally extreme states and an ailing psyche. I thought it might seem like a pretentious celebration of strangeness - there wasn't too much of it in the screenplay, but there was a risk that things might go further during shooting and we might fall into the trap of insincerity. I liked 'Louise's Garden' enough for it to overawe me rather than awaken wild enthusiasm. Telling this kind of story, you walk a very thin line. It's easy to lay yourself open to failure. But I decided that in the end I was experienced enough to take on the challenge. I knew there was a chance of failure, but the temptation was very strong."
Made in the convention of a love story with elements of crime, according to its director the film is "an attempt to capture what is different about love, what is unusual. It's about encouraging the protection of delicate things".
- Ogród Luizy / Louise's Garden, Poland, 2007. Director: Maciej Wojtyszko, screenplay: Witold Horwath, cinematography: Grzegorz Kędzierski, set design: Małgorzata Grabowska-Kozera, costumes: Elżbieta Radke, Małgorzata Obłoza, music: Jerzy Satanowski, sound: Stefan Chomnicki, editing: Ewa Smal, make-up: Lidia Kryńska. Cast: Patrycja Soliman (Luiza Bartodziej), Marcin Dorociński (Fabian Sawicki "Fabio"), Kinga Preis (psychologist Anna Świątek), Krzysztof Stroiński (Lech Bartodziej, Luiza's father), Marcin Hycnar (orderly Marian), Władysław Kowalski (lawyer Frankowski "Kaleka"), Lesław Żurek ("Di Caprio"), Anna Łopatowska (Mrs. Bartodziej, Luiza's mother), Wiktoria Gorodecka (prostitute Tatiana), Tomasz Augustynowicz (deputy superintendent Zygmunt Grudzień), Witold Wieliński (lawyer Jacek Grzelakowski), Jacek Kałucki ("Junior", lawyer Frankowski's brother), Grzegorz Emanuel ("Szwed"), Witold Bieliński ("Kulawka"), Michał Piela ("Cielak"), Wojciech Skibiński (Czesio, psychiatric patient), Jerzy Molga (judge), Jacek Lenartowicz ("Gringo"), Kazimierz Wysota (doctor), Hanna Chojnacka (reporter), Stanisław Brudny (hospital guard), Modest Ruciński, Bartłomiej Bobrowski (Pawełek, psychiatric patient), Andrzej Niemirski (gangster), Ireneusz Kozioł (bar owner), Zbigniew Modej (driver), Aleksander Trąbczyński (policeman). Producer: Włodzimierz Niderhaus, production: Documentary and Feature Film Studio (WFDiF, Warsaw), co-production: Kadr Film Studio, Oko Film Studio, Perspektywa Film Studio, Tor Film Studio, Zebra Film Studio, co-financed by: Polish Film Institute, distribution: Fundacja Film Polski. Length: 102 min. Released on 11 April 2008.
- 2007 - Special Jury Award for Maciej Wojtyszko and Special Acting Award for Marcin Dorociński at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.
Source of Polish version: www.stopklatka.pl