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Off and Running

Passe passe


An unemployed loser, an upper-class woman on the run, a financial scandal... A bittersweet and comic road-movie starring Nathalie Baye
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Directed by

Tonie Marshall (Venus Beauty Institute)


Edouard Baer
Nathalie Baye (It's Only the End of the World, Beautiful Lies, Tell no one, Venus Beauty Institute)


Olivier Bomsel, Tonie Marshall and Alain Peyrollaz - Tabo Tabo Films

2007 / Original language: French / Color / SR SRD / available in hd

Irène and Darry had one chance in a million of meeting…
Darry, 35, an unemployed loser, has just stolen a BMW.
Irène, 50, is the ex-mistress of a government minister. For love, she played the go-between in an illegal weapons deal with Korea. Her former lover now wants her to take the rap. Irène flees…
One morning, by the side of the road, Darry finds a Hermes bag containing a million dollars in cash. He is about to grab it when he hears a woman’s voice thanking him. It’s Irène. Through force of habit, she instantly makes Darry her new chauffeur…
With the Koreans, the secret services and the minister in hot pursuit, the mismatched couple hits the road, soon discovering that they actually have a lot in common.


Olivier BOMSEL, Tonie MARSHALL and Alain

Jacques COMETS
(Venus Beauty Institute)

Director of photography
Christophe Offenstein
(Tell No One)

Art director
Pierre-François Limbosch
(The Secret Life Of Words, The Dancer Upstairs)


Note of intent by Tonie Marshall

It's always difficult to know exactly why you make a film. It's of course a matter of desire and intuition, the wish to tell a story and talk about characters but, each time, I only really understand the reason once the film is finished, seen and shared. One thing is sure and that is I wanted to tackle a sophisticated comedy and work on the classic plot mechanism of an encounter between two people who have nothing in common.

For me, a screenplay always begins with a primal scene, imagined or experienced personally…

In OFF AND RUNNING, it was this guy, slightly depressive and on the dole, who steals his brother-in-law's car on a whim and who then sees a Hermès tote bag abandoned at the side of the road with a mink coat draped over it. He stops: in the bag, millions of euros. Then he discovers the bag's owner, an elegant upper-class woman, also on the run, with whom everything suddenly seems possible…

In theory, they have nothing in common but, in actual fact, they are both a little lost, expressing this in their own way: he is introverted and a little gloomy; she is commanding and critical. The depressive and the pain in the neck.

What interested me about their opposition was that she was all for the free market, while he wasn't for much at all but definitely left-wing: she asks him to drive her to Geneva, he refuses, claiming that he has to go to an anti-global summit in Locarno. And then, through a chain of events, their roles are more or les reversed.

I also wrote the film with Bulle Ogier in mind because Darry's relationship with his mother is a key element in the plot.

Deep down, I wanted to tell the story of two adults who have not found their place in life, something that happens to a lot of people. In meeting, by sharing totally unexpected experiences, they reveal themselves to each other. Finding your place doesn't necessarily mean in relation to work or love: it's the feeling of being in the right place at the right time. And, in this harsh, confused age of ours, in this world of competition and urgency, that feeling is clearly more difficult than ever to attain.

OFF AND RUNNING is a sentimental comedy based mainly on the chemistry between two actors. It is also a road-movie that dabbles in politics, luxury goods, gastronomy, illness… Beneath its light-hearted exterior, the film deals with serious and occasionally grave matters. I love to deal with deep and touching things in a light-hearted manner. We're always on a thin line: it's like a conjuring trick. And, as always of course, we hope for a little magic…