Saturday, January 5, 2008

Juliette In Real Life


Recently I saw the film DAN IN REAL LIFE at an afternoon showing and I found it to be a rather delightful if not overwhelmingly great film. It certainly isn't the near masterpiece Peter Hedges first film, PIECES OF APRIL, was but it is among the more entertaining and nicely done films of the year.
The main thing that has stuck with me about DAN IN REAL LIFE is the ferociously youthful and vibrant performance of Juliette Binoche. Now Binoche has been a favorite of mine since the late eighties but seeing her in this film reminded me that she remains one of the most necessary and brilliant actors working in modern cinema. In this age where more and more of our greatest actors are subjecting themselves to one damaging surgical procedure after another, Juliette Binoche in her mid forties stands as a fierce tribute and reminder that youth and beauty don't have to disappear in the movies after the age of thirty. Had I been alone in the theater watching Binoche in this role I might have screamed 'Thank you' to the screen.
So, Juliette has been on my mind a lot lately. I have been re watching many of my favorite films of hers, looking through an old scrapbook I kept on her and have just being thankful that one of our great actors refuses to cater to the rather ridiculous expectations many film fans seem to have these days.
I am out of town for a bit so posts might be a bit erratic but at the very least later this week expect several Binoche posts, including a long look at her work in Leos Carax's MAUVAIS SANG and a poll focusing on her pre ENGLISH PATIENT work. Don't take that has a swipe against her work in the past decade though. From working in films from such mavericks like Abel Ferrara and Michael Haneke to a trailblazing French Playboy pictorial, Juliette Binoche might just be in the most fascinating and confrontational section of an already uncompromising career. I very much doubt this is going to be an artist who is going to go gentle into that good night.
I hope everyone enjoys the upcoming posts as much as I will writing them...vote in the poll and celebrate all things Binoche. She deserves it.

5 comments:

donal said...

Im really looking forward to your posts. Im sure you are aware of http://fabinoche.free.fr no longer active, but the forum is still alive and kicking!

While I welcome your posts on Carax and Patient, I'd be particularly interested on your take on some of La Binoche's less well known but in my opinion excellent work. How about revisiting Un Tour de Manège, Alice et Martin and Mary. Or even (shock horror) evaluating her less than sucessful films such as Mon Beau-frère a tué ma soeur, Wuthering Heights and In My Country.

This is well timed as JBs frankly staggering slate of new films are about to hit screens in France... Im filled with anticipation for Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge, Paris and L'heure d'été. With the Kiarostami en-route this is probably the most important phase of Binoche's career to date!

Rogue Spy 007 said...

This film never really came around here so I didn't get a chance to see it. I love Juliette Binoche. She's is still a very beautiful actress in her 40's. Juliette's beauty is a natural one. She hasn't given in and had plastic surgery to try to stay looking young. She's still a gorgeous woman. She's my favorite French actress. She's been in so many wonderful films over the years. I look forward to whatever you post about her.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks so much Donal...I adore ALICE AND MARTIN and almost thought on focusing on it instead of the Carax. Look for a future post on it...like you I can't wait to see her upcoming films. She remains for me the best cinema has to offer. Thanks for stopping by and commenting...I really hope you enjoy the upcoming posts...by the way, fabinoche is one of the most amazing fan sites online. I am sorry to see that it hasn't been updated lately...

Thanks so much Keith. I know you dig Juliette as well and I hope you enjoy the upcoming posts!!!

cinematic rambler said...

I have just added the trailer for Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge to my blog. As you are haveing a Binoche retrospective I might do the same and evalute some of her other work!!

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks,
I will look forward to your upcoming posts and have added your blog to my cinema links...