The Beauty and the Beast

Reviewed on 09/4/2010 | No Reviews

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Depardieu attacking Binoche

Ask French actor Gérard Depardieu what he thinks about his colleague Juliette Binoche and he will not go to mince matters: “She has nothing. Absolutely nothing.” That’s what he literally said to Profile, an Austrian magazine.

Photograph: Suki Dhanda

„I really like to know“, he added, „why she has been so esteemed for so many years.“ Depardieu might have felt the opportunity to have the headlines of the news and simply went on teasing. Les amants du Pont Neuf? “Just a piece of shit.”

And than came the straw that breaks the camel’s back: “Really”, he said in the interview, “compared with her, Isabelle Adjani is great even if she’s totally nuts. Or Franny Ardant – she is magnificent, extremely impressive. But Binoche? What has she ever had going for her?”

Something going on with Depardieu

After Binoche replied in the BBC radio 4 Front Row programme, where she was invited to talk about her new film Certified Copy, the international media are talking about “the ugly dispute”. But it’s not a dispute at all. Asked, what she thought about the attack, Binoche just replied: “I understand you don’t have to like everyone and you dislike someone’s work. But I don’t understand the violence, in a way.“ And Binoche added: “But I think it has to do with himself – there’s something going on.”

Could she have been clearer? Binoche, apparently, did enough work on her own person to take attacks like this not personally. She is Oscar winning actress, one of the foremost French actors of her generation with almost 50 films in her repertoire. Why should she care about the furts of her fat colleague who had a hard year because he lost one of his sons recently?

The aura of beauty and authenticity

But I’ve to admit that I love Juliette Binoche. I love and always loved her for some simple reasons: She is not only beautiful and delicate, there is even something mysterious about her. She is a stupendous actress. I met her once; it was in Berlin, at the film festival. Five, six journalists had half an hour together with her around a table to ask her questions about her last film Chocolat.

When I entered the room, I felt like blinded. She has such a powerful aura that I was completely under her spell: her smile, her voice, the way she talked and walked. And than this: Her skin! I’ve never seen such a white, impeccable skin. You’ve got it: I’m not exactly what you call neutral in this case.

“Please can you explain me the secret of this actress is meant to be”, Depardieu asked. Of course I can. She is authentic. She is, each time, giving herself, giving her soul. Something Depardieu not even has. And there is something else he might be jealous about and he would love to call his own: an Oscar!

You can listen to the interview with Juliette Binoche on BBC radio 4 Front Row.

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