Saturday, January 5, 2008
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.