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An actress par excellence

RENUKA VIJAY KUMAR

The 10-day Isabelle Huppert film fest had a gamut of films from the subtle to the provocative.



CINEMATIC OEUVRE Isabelle Huppert

Along with Le Long S'anime - the six-day animation film festival, the Alliance Française of Hyderabad organised an Isabelle Huppert film festival. `A tribute to Isabelle Huppert,' that ended on March 1, showcased some of her best works till date including multi-award winning films like La Ceremonie, Madame Bovary, La Pianiste and La Dentellliere.



Clips from her films.

Isabelle - an extremely popular and talented actress, is a favourite of many a critique. Her work has even been appreciated by advocates of traditional and conservative cinema. Every film of hers has been tackled singularly and her approach is known to be refreshing and each film is as different as it can be from the last one. She is sometimes referred to as the most accomplished actress in the world, simply because the type of cinema she has done knows no bounds. Huppert has won international film awards across France, at Cannes, Venice, Berlin and the United States. The beautiful actress undergoes a transformation in each role and though her performance threatens to mesmerise the viewer, its seems to come from deep within.

All the movies selected for this festival were profound, though her repertoire of films spans different genres. Her movies with director Claude Chabrol — Madame Bovary, Violette Noziere and La Ceremonie have won her immense critical appreciation. In 1996, Isabelle won the Cesar award, the French Film Academy award for La Ceremonie.

For Une Affair De Femmes, she shared the BAFTA best actress award with Shirley Maclaine. The Legion D'Honneur- the highest French civilian award was bestowed on the talented actress in 1999.

One of Hupperts earliest films, La Dentellliere, (The Lacemaker) had her portray a young woman who falls in love with François, a man from a different societal class. She slowly sinks into a mental illness when she realises that they cannot be together forever but the story traces François trying to win back her love. Loulou with Gerard Depardieu as Loulou has her playing a middle class wife who decides to move in with her lover and bring up the baby she is expecting. But one reflective dinner with his family changes her mind forever.



Clips from her films.

The movies at the festival were screened chronologically, clearly showing Hupperts evolution as an actress, her exuberance that never dwindles and how effortlessly the actress' skills overshadow that of her co-stars. La Pianiste, not to be confused with the Academy Award winning The Pianist, is an extremely deep movie based in Austria.

It is about Erika (Huppert), a sexually repressed piano teacher who tries to get her young lover, the handsome Benoît Magimel to fulfil her sado-masochist fantasies. The movie won Isabelle and her co-star Magimel the best actor and actress awards at Cannes in 2001 as well as the Grand Prize of the jury for director Michael Haneke. It was also nominated for many awards the world over, including the BAFTA's, European film awards and the Cesar's.

If you're looking at exploring meaningful French Cinema as well as some thought provoking performances, Isabelle's movies would be the right place to begin. She is beautiful, talented and a natural.

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