Not another teen movie: Six-part drama on Brigitte Macron's life confirmed

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Jonny Walfisz
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A French production company is working on a TV series on the life of France's first lady, Brigitte Macron. We suggest the ways they might want to dramatise her story.


Sacré bleu! From the nation that brought the world the ménage à trois, la petite mort and the French kiss (they just call it a kiss there), comes a new drama on Brigitte Macron.

French film production company Gaumont has confirmed it is working on a six-part series based on Brigitte Macron’s life under the title Brigitte, une femme libre (Brigitte, a Free Woman).

Written by J’ai Menti (Spiral of Lies) team Bénédicte Charles and Olivier Pouponneau, the series will follow the footsteps of Brigitte’s life from her first meeting with her now husband, President Emmanuel Macron.

France’s first lady has always been a somewhat contentious figure on account of the age-gap between her and Emmanuel. Brigitte is nearly 25 years senior to her politician husband.

A 40-year-old Brigitte first met Emmanuel in 1993 when she was a teacher at an after-school theatre club that the 15-year-old future president attended. At the time, the class was also attended by Brigitte’s own 15-year-old daughter.

In 2006, Brigitte divorced her husband of 32 years, André-Louis Auzière, and married Emmanuel the following year. At the time, he was 29, she was 54 and a teacher, now at the fancy Lycée Saint-Louis de Gonzague where she would go on to teach two sons of LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault.

Emmanuel Macron blows a kiss as he stands alongside his wife Brigitte Macron, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden
Emmanuel Macron blows a kiss as he stands alongside his wife Brigitte Macron, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill BidenAP Photo

“Brigitte Macron is a fascinating character, and we want to tackle it in a romantic, almost melodramatic way because of the romantic dimension of her destiny,” Charles told French outlet Le Figaro.

While the Macrons are reportedly not involved in the series, how the life of the nation’s first lady will be depicted remains to be seen. We’ve taken the liberty of suggesting three potential film examples of how Gaumont may want to proceed.

Brigitte is – although somewhat subject to salacious tabloid speculation about her marriage – largely a well-respected figure within French politics. Yet, the fictional depiction of her first meeting Emmanuel is ripe for a transgressive interpretation.

Will it go down the same route as Todd Haynes’ sublime 2023 film May December, with Brigitte quoting lines like “I am naïve, I always have been,” and Emmanuel, when faced with difficult decisions around farmer pensions being told: “This is just what grown-ups do.”

Or perhaps, it could take a leaf out of the real-life book of Back to Black director Sam Taylor-Johnson, whose 24-year age gap with husband actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson has received similar public derision.

In fact, go one further and get Taylor-Johnson to direct and star in it alongside her young husband as Emmanuel – then, much in the style of her Amy Winehouse biopic, sanitise any aspect of her life that contradicts your own narrative purposes.

Finally, you could go down the route of Hal Ashby classic Harold and Maude. The 1971 rom-com about a suicidal teenager falling in love with a 79-year-old Holocaust survivor is far more joyous and charming than that logline could ever suggest. Ashby’s filmography was a major inspiration for the similarly charming Alexander Payne film The Holdovers.

What lessons did Payne take from Harold and Maude that could be applied to charm up the Brigitte show? Make the screen grainy like old film stock and put Cat Stevens on the soundtrack.

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