french actress Juliette Binoche did it all: as the New York Times points out, she won an Academy Award, a BAFTA, a César, a Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival, and she even received a Tony Award nod after having performed in a Broadway play. Binoche first made her mark in her mother tongue, French, before appearing in her first English-language film The Unbearable Lightness of Being in 1988 with Daniel Day-Lewis.
Since then, Binoche has appeared in French and English films. In 2022 alone, she can be seen on the HBO Max true crime show The staircaseand she will also star in the upcoming Apple TV+ series The new lookbased on Christian Dior’s revolutionary era of transforming the fashion industry, like Coco Chanel. However, the vast majority of his acting credits are in movies. These are the best Juliette Binoche movies, ranked.
8 Hidden / Hidden
2005 Hidden stars Binoche and Daniel Auteuil as a wealthy couple who, after receiving an anonymous tape in the mail, discover they are under surveillance. As more gangs arrive with crude and violent designs, the police decide it can only be foul play, leading the couple to a life full of fear. Hidden traverses not only the themes of surveillance in daily life, but also the impacts of colonialism on ordinary citizens, particularly, in this case, Algerians living in France under the guise of a thriller.
seven The English Patient
The English Patient, an adaptation of a novel by Canadian poet and author Michael Ondaatje, stars Binoche opposite Ralph Fiennes and Willem Dafoe. The end of the Second World War is approaching and a nurse (Binoche) treats a wounded man (Fiennes). Another Canadian soldier (Dafoe) accompanies him as the man begins to tell his life story without revealing who he is. The English Patient is a long but moving adaptation of the source material, which is why it received quite a bit of attention when it was released.
Chocolate is what earned Binoche her second Academy Award nomination for Best Actress – which she ultimately didn’t win. She had previously won the award for her performance in The English Patient. A single mother (Binoche) moves to a small town in the French countryside with her young child and decides to open a chocolate factory. She is immediately excluded from the rest of the village, which is still traditional in nature, but with her arrival the winds of change are blowing – but is it for better or for worse?
5 The Unbearable Lightness of Being
A real throwback to the late 1980s, JThe Unbearable Lightness of Being was highly praised by critics when first released in 1986. Czechoslovakian art was changing during the era known as the Prague Spring, along with intellectual circles and life. The film follows the life of a brain surgeon engaged in an affair with an artist. Things get a bit more complicated when Czechoslovakia is invaded by the Soviet Union and the communist hold on the country tightens.
4 The lovers of Pont-Neuf / The lovers of the bridge
The Lovers on the Bridge is a love story featuring two wandering souls. A young man, who is a street performer addicted to sedatives and alcohol, meets a young woman, an artist who is slowly becoming blind and homeless due to a relationship gone wrong. Together they live below deck and become more dependent on each other. A story of trials and devotion, it’s also a certified tearjerker.
3 Certified copy
Binoche won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance in Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s film Certified copy. In a highly acclaimed film that some consider one of the best of the decade, a woman attends a lecture by one of her favorite writers. She brings her son, who becomes agitated during the discussion, and she is forced to leave early. Thereafter, she engages in a relationship with the writer, often discussing the nature of his work: authenticity in art. However, the film then flips the script with a surprising plot, which enhances the same discussions the two had before.
2 Camille Claudel 1915
Too often, women are excluded from conversations about art history, and Camille Claudel 1915 hopes and dares to shed light on Camille Claudel, a deceased French artist unknown but who has acquired a new scholarship in recent years. The film is a biographical drama detailing the end of her life when she began to decline due to her mental issues. A former lover of sculptor Auguste Rodin, her mental health issues led her to accuse him of plagiarism, and she consequently destroyed the majority of his work. Binoche is captivating as Claudel is in mental agony, humanizing his struggle.
1 Three colors: blue
Three colors: blue is the first film in a trilogy based on the three colors of the French flag: red, white and blue. Three colors: blueThe subject of is freedom, and with its alluring blue tones scattered throughout the visuals, it offers something to linger over. A woman’s husband and daughter are killed in a car accident and she must now live her life alone. Consumed by grief, she can no longer function emotionally, leading her to attempt suicide and estrangement from all her friends and loved ones. Binoche’s visuals and performance really sell this film to audiences, creating these moments that feel excruciatingly long, just how Binoche’s character must feel.
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