I had the great pleasure of meeting Isabelle Huppert in 1986 when she was working on the film “The Bedroom Window” (directed by the late Curtis Hanson) in Wilmington, North Carolina. And she signed a big French subway poster of “Entre Nous” I owned. She has had a long career of tremendous performances and the Film Forum in New York City is now screening a 3-week, 29-film retrospective of her work.
Go here for the complete list and ticket information.
ISABELLE HUPPERT, a three-week festival spotlighting over twenty-five of the actress’ starring vehicles, will run at Film Forum from October 7 through October 27. The expansive series features rarely screened work, including her debut performance in Claude Goretta’s THE LACEMAKER, Claude Chabrol’s VIOLETTE NOZIERE, Joseph Losey’s THE TROUT, Jean-Luc Godard’s PASSION, Olivier Assayas’ SENTIMENTAL DESTINIES, Raúl Ruiz’s COMEDY OF INNOCENCE; her early collaborations with Chabrol, Maurice Pialat, Diane Kurys, Michael Cimino; recent roles in films by Claire Denis, Hong Sang-soo, Ursula Meier, Michael Haneke, and more. Many of the prints, some of them rarely screened in the U.S., will be imported from international archives.
Isabelle Huppert began her career in her teens. Her appearance, at age 24, in Goretta’s THE LACEMAKER (1977) earned her a BAFTA Most Promising Newcomer award and marked her international debut. A year later, she played the modest schoolgirl turned murderess in VIOLETTE NOZIÈRE (1978), based on a true story, her first of seven collaborations with Chabrol. The performance won her the Best Actress prize at Cannes.
In the decades that followed, Huppert continued to explore enigmatic and emotionally distant characters in Maurice Pialat’s LOULOU (1980), Godard’s EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF (1980), Diane Kurys’ ENTRE NOUS (1983), and Chabrol’s STORY OF WOMEN (1988). She had a standout part playing a manic and homicidal post office worker in Chabrol’s LA CÉRÉMONIE (1995). Her performance in Michael Haneke’s THE PIANO TEACHER (2001), “a terrifying tour-de force of lust, cruelty, masochism and musicianship…Huppert performs [the titular character’s] descent into madness with icy precision and operatic intensity,” (A.O. Scott, The New York Times), earned her the Best Actress prize in Cannes.
With now over 50 starring credits, ranging from psychological thriller to lighthearted comedy– across America, France, Italy, Russia, and more– Huppert’s prodigious output has made her the recipient of several accolades, including two César Awards, three Cannes Film Festival honors, a Golden Globe, an Oscar nomination, and Berlin’s 2021 lifetime achievement award for her work as “more than a celebrated actor, but an uncompromising artist who doesn’t hesitate to take risks and flout mainstream trends.” She ranks #2 on The New York Times’ list of the 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century.
Manohla Dargis wrote of her in The New York Times, “Fearless and mesmerizing, sometimes scary, sometimes freakish, Isabelle Huppert has taken on an astonishment of roles over her career, moving effortlessly from tears to shrieks, from the straightest stories to the most gloriously unhinged. She’s acted in more than 50 movies this century alone, industriousness that speaks to her ambition and popularity, but also suggests a ravenous hunger that you can see in her acting… Her characters boil over with life.”