Tuesday April 05, 2011
Coup de foudre
I first saw Isabelle Huppert in “Entre Nous” (original title “Coup de foudre” or “Love at First Sight”), which was playing at the Cedar Theater on the West Bank in Minneapolis, Minn., in 1984. Talk about coup de foudre. Something about her mouth reminded me of a girl I had a crush on at the university, whose name I‘ve since forgotten. (Wonder where she is? Wonder who she is?) Much of the movie went over my head, much has been forgotten, but Patricia and I watched it the other day and ... it’s good ... if obviously created from the scattered nature of life (specifically, the lives of the parents of writer-director Diane Kurys) rather than with the compact force of drama.
It was nominated back then for an Oscar for best foreign language film, but lost, deservedly, to “Fanny and Alexander.” It was also nominated for four Cesars: writing, directing, supporting actor (Guy Marchand) and actress. Not for Huppert, btw. For her co-star, Miou Miou, whom everyone, inexplicably to me back then, focused on. Miou Miou was already a star, had already been nominated four times for Meilleure actrice, and had won, once, for 1979's “Memoirs of a French Whore,” which she refused to accept for the usual reason that actors aren't in competition with one other. Huppert was already a star, too. She'd already been nominated five times for Cesars, but wouldn't be named Meilleure actrice until 1995's “La Ceremonie.” Her only Cesar.
I don't know about meilleure but I believe it's our nature to fall in love with what we can't have, which is part of the appeal of movie stars, and certainly part of the appeal of an actress like Isabelle Huppert, who looks beautiful but reveals little. Thus her performance in “Entre Nous” is now, what, triply attractive to me: she reveals little (1), in a movie (2), that is nearly 30 years old (3). I can't get at any of it. Must be love. C‘est encore l’amour.