French actresses are like forbidden treasures to younger film buffs. They are the exact opposite of their American counterparts. The difference were especially pronounced in times of the bygone era. Whereas the American actresses were children, the French weren’t afraid of anything, They could laugh, cry, or any emotion upon request. They were not only a young boy’s dream, because many of them would, at some point, appear nude in a film, but a young wannabe director’s fancy because not only did they take their clothes but they could act , too.
So, we here at LBJBR present the hundred French actresses you should know. They are in no particular order, much less one of importance. As a warning, this article is probably not safe for work viewing. Viewer discretion is advised.
1. Isabelle Huppert
Born – March 13, 1953
If there is a queen of all cinema, Isabelle Huppert would be a pretty good candidate if not the candidate. Her resume speaks for itself. Debuting in 1971 at the age of 18. According to Wikipedia, she has appeared in more than 110 films and is “the most nominated actress for the César Award, France’s version of the Academy Awards.
Huppert, to date has appeared in only a few English language films. She had the unfortunate luck of appearing in Michael Cimino’s big budget western Heaven’s Gate. The film would feature a $44 million dollar budget and would fail to even make $5 million dollars and see. The film was poorly reviewed, overly long and only feature Huppert with her clothes off.
Huppert’s thick French accent along with no real desire to continue with American films, would see Huppert feature in only a few more film. The noirish The Bedroom Window, which you could only take two things from. One , Steve Guettenberg cannot act, really he can’t and he is plain annoying. Two, another tacked on nude scene from Huppert. I guess to try to make audiences forget that yes, Steve Guttenberg was in fact in this film.
Huppert’s film career in her home country would be the exact opposite. She would begin her career in 1972 at the age of 19. Huppert would never have a big hit film to her name, never mind a movie with which she could be identified with. For Huppert, the years have been very her biggest supporter. She would build an extensive resume even as she grew older, bucking that age old film philosophy that roles dissipated the older they became.
Notoriety came to Huppert at the of 21 for her part Bertrand Blier’s controversial film Going Places. To put the film’s controversial nature into perspective, Roger Ebert had this to say:
“Despite its occasional charm, its several amusing moments and the touching scenes played by Jeanne Moreau, Going Places is a film of truly cynical decadence. It’s also, not incidentally, the most misogynistic movie I can remember; its hatred of women is palpable and embarrassing. … I came away from Going Places feeling that I’d spent two hours in the company of a filmmaker I would never want to meet.”
In Going Places, Huppert plays the young Jacqueline. According to Wikipedia, the character has this type of adventure:
“(…)they meet a family having a picnic near Col d’Izoard and the delinquent teenage daughter Jacqueline wants to join them. They take Jacqueline and on learning that she is still a virgin, they decide to deflower her. After dropping Jacqueline, the three ride away aimlessly.”
Throughout her career, Isabelle Huppert would show no fear when choosing her next film. Because of her lack of fear, Huppert has became one of the legends of, not only French cinema but cinema as a whole. She has left an indelible mark on cinema forever.