Paris people

Such a French Head

Jodie Foster arrives at Armani show, January 2011. Photo: Etienne Laurent, AFP.

This hasn't happened since 1993: a stranger presiding the Cesar Awards, the thing they call the French Oscars? Well, Marcello Mastroianni, the Italian actor who hosted the ceremony 18 years ago, wasn’t exactly what you could call a foreigner. After having been married to Catherine Deneuve and having spent half his life in Paris, Marcello was part of the tribe, a kind of national monument himself.

Jodie Foster isn’t part of the Parisian décor - even if she shows up once in a while in the French capital. When she was last seen here a few weeks ago, she attended Giorgio Armani’s fashion show.

French by language

But there is something more important: Jodie Foster speaks not only fluent but also perfect French. And when I say perfectly, I mean it. That’s what counts here in France, after all. In a way: Jodie Foster is French – not thanks to her passport, but thanks to her skills.

How come, you might ask. Well, she attended a French language prep school and later the Lycée Français of Los Angeles. She also spent a lot of time in France. She is bilingual to a point that she starred in several French films including Eric Le Hung’s 1977 film Moi, Fleur Bleue, Claude Chabrol’s The Blood of Others in 1984 and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s A Very Long Engagement in 2004. She even dubs her films for French release.

A perfect couple

Right now she is shooting Roman Polanski's God of Carnage with Christoph Walz (Inglourious Basterds), John C. Reilly (Cyrus) and Kate Winslet (The Reader) in Paris - an adaption of Yasmina Reza's very strong play.

Tonight, French actor Antoine De Caunes will reprise his role as Master of Ceremonies. A perfect couple. I can already see Jodie: so brilliant, so quick-witted, so witty. An intellectual, after all. That’s why the French love her.Photos:
Etienne Laurent, AFP