Isabelle Huppert is a goddess of French cinema. She’s acted in over 120 films and is the most nominated actress for the César, the French Oscar. She’s been in so many historical costume movies that we have to feature her!
Figaro-ci, Figaro-là (1972)
A TV film about Beaumarchais, the 18th-century author of the famous plays The Barber of Seville (1775) and The Marriage of Figaro (1784). Huppert plays “Pauline.”
The Bar at the Crossing (1972)
An adventure film set in 1916 Canada. Isabelle plays temptress “Annie.”
Qui êtes-vous Monsieur Renaudot? (1972)
Another TV film, this one about 17th-century Théophraste Renaudot — a French physician, philanthropist, and journalist. Huppert plays “Marthe enfant,” which I think means the young Marthe Renaudot.
Histoire vraie (1973)
Unclear exactly what this is about, but it’s based on the writings of Guy de Maupassant.
Les Grandes heures de notre vie: La Mort (1973)
An adaptation of a Tolstoy novel set in the 1870s. Huppert plays “Lisa.”
About Swiss artist Aloïse Corbaz and set in the 1900s-10s. Huppert plays the young Aloïse.
Madame Baptiste (1974)
Another early 1900s-set adaptation of a Guy de Maupassant novel involving rape and suicide. Huppert plays the lead role of Blanche Fontanel.
Le Juge et l’assassin (1975)
About a real-life 1890s French serial killer, Joseph Vacher; Huppert plays “Rose.”
Il était un musicien: Monsieur Saint Saëns (1978)
A French TV series that I think focuses on various musicians? This one is about Camille Saint-Saëns, a French composer active in the 1860s-80s. Huppert plays “the young girl.”
A dramatization of a real-life 1933 French murder involving Violette Nozière, a prostitute.
Les Soeurs Brontë (1979)
A French-language dramatization of the lives of the three Brontë sisters; Huppert plays Anne, author of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Coup de Torchon (1981)
A crime movie set in 1938 French West Africa. Huppert plays “mischievous young bride” Rose.
The Lady of the Camellias (1981)
The life of 1840s courtesan Alphonsine Plessis, the inspiration for the novel La Dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils. Huppert, of course, plays Alphonsine.
Les Possédés (1987)
Set in the 1870s and based on a Dostoyevsky novel about revolutionary nihilists. Huppert plays “Maria Sjatov.”
A French-Yugoslav film about “the fate of mercenaries in the baroque wars of the 18th century, during the time of the Austro-Hungarian rule over the Serbs.” Huppert plays “Dafina Isakovic.”
Madame Bovary (1991)
The 1850s-set story of a small-town adulterous wife, based on the novel by Gustave Flaubert. Huppert plays the titular Emma Bovary.
Les Affinités éléctives (1995)
A French-Italian film that’s an adaptation of a Goethe novel; looks like it’s possibly set in the early 19th century? Huppert plays “Carlotta / Charlotte.”
The King’s Daughters (2000)
A story about Madame de Maintenon, last wife of Louis XIV, and the girls school she set up at Saint-Cyr in the 1680s.
Les Destinées (2001)
An adaptation of Les Destinées sentimentales by Jacques Chardonne. Set in the early 20th century, a Protestant minister leaves his wife for another and has to run a porcelain factory. Huppert plays the left wife.
Set in the early 20th century, about a married couple facing difficulties; based on a story by Joseph Conrad. Huppert plays Gabrielle, the wife.
The Nun (2015)
An adaptation of an 18th-century Diderot novel, about a young girl who is forced to become a nun; Huppert plays one of her mothers superior.
What’s your favorite Isabelle Huppert historical role?