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by DanaPC30 @ 7/29/2012 2:32:15 PM

Hello. I want to talk about how I became a Celine fan. The year was 2001, and, it was before the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City, NY, USA, and, I had gotten the tape,"The Collector's Series Volume one" for Christmas, and, I listened to it. But, before that, I heard my best blind friend Michael sing at blind camp talent show "My Heart Will Go On", and, I had to ask him who sang that, and, he said,"Celine Dion", and, I said I have to get the soundtracks to the movie Titanic when i get home.

So, I got home from camp, and, had my Dad take me to Hastings, a movie/music store, and, I got both Titanic, and, Back To Titanic soundtracks, and, fell in LOVE with the Dialogue version of My Heart Will Go On, and, had to learn the song. And, I did. Then I started collecting her albums, and, the album I got first was Unison, and, I fell in LOVE with that one as well.

Then 2010 came along, and, Celine Through The Eyes Of the World came out, and, I thought I was not going to get to go to that movie. But, I did with a family member, and, I LOVED every part of it, even though they mostly spoke French throughout the entire thing. Then I got the deluxe version, and, absolutely fell in LOVE with the concert from Boston, USA. I LOVED when Celine had Andrea Bocelli on the video screen for The Prayer. Man, did they do an AWESOME job.

Now that it is 2012, Celine is getting ready to put out a couple of new albums, and, yes, of course I am going to get both of them on cd. I am not, and, I do repeat, not putting them on my ipod. I want them to stay on the cd, cause they will be something I will cherish as a fan for the rest of my life.

Anyway, I would LOVE to know how you all became a fan. Please tell me also what you think of my becoming a fan 11 years ago this week.

by DanaPC30 @ 7/28/2012 4:35:45 PM

The biggest talking point surrounding the new Quebec Mafia movie Omertà is the presence of René Angélil in one of the starring roles.

Angélil is, of course, Mr. Céline Dion. He is married to Canada's most famous songbird, manages Dion's absurdly successful career, and is a vedette in his own right in Quebec. He is often interviewed on TV, graces the covers of the local entertainment magazines and was even a mentor in the last two seasons of the ultra-popular TV singing contest Star Académie.

In short, it was a big deal for producer Denise Robert and writer-director Luc Dionne to snare Angélil for the role of Mob boss Dominic Fagazi in their adaptation of the gritty cops-and-mobsters series that ran on Radio-Canada between 1996 and 1999. The film, which opens across the province Wednesday, also stars Michel Côté (who was the main man in the TV series), Patrick Huard, Rachelle Lefevre and Stéphane Rousseau.

Côté reprises his role as Pierre Gauthier - the police officer, not the much-maligned former Habs general manager - who has left the Sûreté du Québec to head up a private security agency. But he's pulled back into the cop biz to investigate the goings-on within the Montreal Mafia. Rousseau plays a psycho criminal who got out of jail early and is part of a complex plan to produce a large shipment of phony gold bars.

While the movie features a star-studded cast, it's the hiring of Angélil that has generated the most buzz. The impresario's role in Omertà has also sparked some debate about whether it's really such a good idea to have a wellknown entertainment personality who's not an actor playing a major part in a film.

Writer-director Dionne, a tough-talking guy at the best of times, was a little peeved when I asked him about this debate. I told him that the argument from the critics of the movie - notably La Presse film columnist Marc-André Lussier - is that you can't ever get over the notion that you're watching René Angélil rather than a character in the movie.

"Can you get over the fact that it's Tom Cruise?" asked Dionne, who wrote the Omertà TV series. "Can you get over the fact that it's Robert De Niro? I'm going to get criticism about everything.

That's part of my job. That's part of the business. But I don't write movies for these (critics). I write movies first of all for myself. I write stories that I would like to see. I hope people are going to say something else about the movie (other than the fact it stars Angélil).

"There's something that you cannot play in a movie, and that's power. Power - either you have it or you don't. You can't force people to respect you. You either have it or you don't. And that's what René is all about."

Hiring Angélil was producer Robert's idea. When she suggested it to Dionne, his first thought was that Angélil would never accept the gig. He knew Angélil: They're both poker players and have played in the same tournaments, and Dionne has golfed at the Angélilowned course Le Mirage in Terrebonne.

So the director and producer headed down to Florida to try to convince Angélil, and found a surprise ally in Céline Dion.

"What happened was that they convinced Céline first," said Angélil. "They said, 'He's perfect for the role. We need someone who can command respect. Not talk a lot.' When I came in, I had the three of them telling me it would be a good thing. Then Céline gave me the punchline when she said: 'You know, you've done a lot of things in this business. You've been a singer, a member of a group (the '60s yé-yé band Les Baronets), a producer, a director, a manager, and you're not getting younger. This is probably your last chance to be in a movie. And you're with great people, so you should do that.'

"That was the clincher. And she was right. Because acting with Michel Côté, Patrick Huard, Stéphane Rousseau, Paolo Noël, who I worked with in the '60s in the clubs, and Rachelle, who I didn't know - it was great."

Dion has been in discussions with Robert for years to make her film debut in a biopic of the late, great opera singer Maria Callas; the project is still moving along, according to Angélil. In fact, he sends all the movie proposals that come Dion's way over to Robert to get her advice. So it was a natural that he'd collaborate with Robert, who is one of Canada's top movie producers, with a list of credits that includes De père en flic and Les invasions barbares.

Angélil's respect for Robert made him even more nervous about making his big-screen debut in such a prestigious production.

"When I said yes, I started to panic a little bit because I didn't want to disappoint Denise and Luc," he said.

In the film, Angélil speaks in the same gravelly sottovoce tone that's his trademark in real life, and the filmmakers are clearly riffing on his showbiz persona. But he had no worries about creating a caricature of himself.

"No, because I'm playing in a movie," said Angélil. "If there were scenes where I had to be violent and kill people, then it would be another story. But as you saw, he's sort of a nice Godfather. There's violence in the movie, but not from me. I have other people doing the violence."

Angélil is a big fan of The Sopranos, and "like everyone, I'm a fan of The Godfather." But he didn't model his performance on The Sopranos' James Gandolfini or Marlon Brando's Oscar-winning turn in The Godfather.

"I thought of two people from the Montreal Mafia that I'd known over the years because I worked in clubs at the beginning of my career. I remember seeing them - and their look - and I played a little bit on that."

Omertà opens in Quebec theatres on Wednesday.

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