Juliette Binoche sometimes can annoy me (she’s kind of Gerard Depardieu/Geoffrey Rush in her acting style for me), but she’s an absolute doyenne of French period flicks, so we really need to look at her oeuvre!
Wuthering Heights (1992)
As both Cathys in the late 18th century/early 19th century Emily Brontë classic.
The Horseman on the Roof (1995)
I saw this, but so long ago I’ve forgotten except that it was bleak. As I wrote then: “Cholera, missing husbands, lots of running around the countryside.” Looking at the costumes now, they look spot-on for the 1830s.
The English Patient (1996)
Binoche is the nurse who cares for a burned man during World War II; he tells her about a romance he had in earlier years.
Children of the Century (1999)
She plays writer George Sand in this tortured romance. I’m tempted to give this one a whirl, although Sarah has already given it a full review…
Binoche plays a chocolatière in 1959 village France.
The Widow of Saint Pierre (2000)
Set in 1849 on some tiny French-controlled islands off the coast of Canada. As Wikipiedia summarizes, “Loosely inspired by an actual case, it tells the story of a disillusioned army officer whose love for his wife in her efforts to save a convicted murderer leads him to disobey orders.” It’s been forever since I’ve watched this, but apparently I enjoyed both the acting and costumes when I did.
A film within a film, wherein Binoche plays an actress playing Mary Magdalene.
Camille Claudel 1915 (2013)
French sculptor Camille Claudel is institutionalized later in life (1915).
Endless Night (2015)
As Josephine Peary, real-life Arctic explore who searches for her husband and befriends an Eskimo woman.
Slack Bay (2016)
A comedy about a wealthy industrialist family who, at their summer home, interact with a family across the class divide.
How to Be a Good Wife (2020)
Binoche plays the headmistress at Van der Beck’s School of Housekeeping and Good Manners in Alsace against the background of the 1968 student protests.
How do you feel about Juliette Binoche?
She’s gorgeous. I loved watching her in Chocolat and Wuthering Heights.
She is one of the most naturally beautiful women on Earth. She always looks so presentable and lovely with absolutely NO MAKE-UP. She however, is all SLAYAGE in that last set of photos from the 1960s. That pink suit is divine.
Very Jackie Kennedy, right?
Lovely woman, excellent actress.
But I can never forget the “Oscar acceptance speech from Hell” moment when she won Best Supporting Actress for THE ENGLISH PATIENT– instead of the widely-predicted, “career-capping” win for Lauren Bacall– and proceeded to define the French term faux pas for the entire world.
Even though it’s not a Frock Flick, her participation in the first of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s THREE COLORS trilogy– the BLUE segment– is a must-see, as is the entire trilogy and most of Kieślowski’s work.
Ooooo… that 1830s fiche IS gorgeous! But so is the rich green sheerstripe dress underneath!
I was surprised by how effective J.B. was as Cathy, her acting skills aside, maybe because she is so truly attractive and natural-seeming without being glam, and then glams up really well when she has to be ladylike. The hair, though…
Unsolicited theory on The Long Hair Thing–apart from its being sexy and relatable and other nonsense: It’s what a relative once termed present-day Scots: fierce and primitive. Rural people back then were fierce and primitive, especially in northern climes. They didn’t know how to behave or dress. Therefore, they were shaggy. (Note that my relative had never been to Scotland. When he did visit, he was startled by how civilized and cultured it was.)
I never loved Juliette Binoche as I had the impression that she was in too many films. But I was very impressed by her great performance in “Le hussard sur le toit”. The love of her and Olivier Martinez is really tragic as it becomes clear that they will have to live lifes for their own. I loved the work of Arbogast’s camera showing the nice landscape of Southern France. However it’s not my period and I don’t know how accurate the costumes are.
Ever since someone on The Toast (RIP) pointed out that you can actually read Wuthering Heights as a daaaaark comedy, it’s become my favorite book, and as such I’ve never been fully satisfied with any adaptation of it. That said, the ’92 adaptation is pretty good – they actually film the WHOLE book, whereas a lot of other versions give you only the first half (which is totally missing the point IMHO). I thought Ms. Binoche was particularly good as the younger Catherine, and also it’s got Janet McTeer as Nelly Dean and she’s pretty much the definitive Nelly (aka the best character in the whole damn book) in my eyes.