“If you’re a filmmaker, it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman… What matters are sensibilities, and diversity.”
Born to a French mother, the actress Micheline Presle, and an American father, the actor, director and producer William Marshall, Tonie Marshall began her career at age 19 performing in Jacques Demy’s 1972 A Slightly Pregnant Man.
She pursued the acting craft, working with Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean-Michel Ribes, Claude Zidi and Jean-Claude Biette, among others. In 1989, she decided to write and direct her first film, Pentimento. Thus began a prolific career for Tonie Marshall, scoring her first big hit in 1999 with Venus Beauty, which followed the romantic disappointments of a beautician played by Nathalie Baye and introduced a young Audrey Tautou. She pulled off a hat trick at the 2000 César, taking home Best Film, Best Director – still the only woman to win this award to this day – and Best Original Screenplay.
In 2002, she paired Catherine Deneuve with William Hurt in Nearest to Heaven, then returned the following year with the comedy France Boutique. She revisited the genre in 2008 with Off and Running, then again in 2014 with Sex, Love and Therapy.
In her 2017 hybrid drama-thriller Number One, she tells the story of a female executive played by Emmanuelle Devos, confronting the fierce misogyny of the marketplace.