Juliette Binoche & Olivier Assayas: The Powerful Duo of French Cinema

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Juliette Binoche, Olivier Assayas and Chloe Grace Moretz promoting "Clouds of Sils Maria" at the Cannes film festival © Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Juliette Binoche, Olivier Assayas and Chloe Grace Moretz promoting "Clouds of Sils Maria" at the Cannes film festival © Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Juliette Binoche, Olivier Assayas and Chloe Grace Moretz promoting "Clouds of Sils Maria" at the Cannes film festival © Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Juliette Binoche, renowned French actress, has given us some of the most spectacular performances in film, making her one of the most critically acclaimed actresses in the world. Known for choosing her scripts with immense care, Binoche concluded that there was an undeniable synergy with director Olivier Assayas...
 

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Juliette Binoche, Olivier Assayas and Chloe Grace Moretz promoting "Clouds of Sils Maria" at the Cannes film festival © Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


 

Juliette Binoche, renowned French actress, has given us some of the most spectacular performances in film, making her one of the most critically acclaimed actresses in the world. Known for choosing her scripts with immense care, Binoche concluded that there was an undeniable synergy with director Olivier Assayas. Together, they have worked on various projects, resulting in some of the most successful French movies in recent years. And don't forget to tune in to TV5MONDE USA to watch Juliette Binoche's movies and many more French gems!

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The Movie That Started It: "Summer Hours"

The first project that brought Binoche and Assayas to work together was the French drama, "Summer Hours" L'heure d'été. Released in 2008, the movie centers around a family's inheritance of their late grandmother's grand estate. Binoche played the role of the daughter, Adrienne, who has gone to the USA to pursue her career in design. Alongside her were triplet brothers Jeremie Renier, Charles Berling, and their grandmother, portrayed by Edith Scob. The film was widely acclaimed for its exquisite portrayal of the complexities of family bonds, and Binoche's performance was highly praised. The film was also praised by American critics and audiences alike and was considered a commercial success. The film is unpretentious and sensitive and takes time to dig deeper into those relationships. Binoche offers a haunting performance as Adrienne, and she brings depth and authenticity to the role.

The eerie drama: "Clouds of Sils Maria"

The next collaboration between Binoche and Assayas was the psychological thriller, Cloud of Sils Maria. It's also the only movie in English they made together. The film, released in 2014, centers around the relationship between an aging actress, Maria Enders (Binoche), and her young assistant, Valentine (Kristen Stewart). The plot follows Enders as she prepares to play the role of a younger woman in a play that once made her famous alongside a young and tumultuous actress played by Chloe Grace Moretz. The film was highly celebrated, receiving several nominations including at Cannes Film Festival. It won the Louis Delluc Prize for Best Film and Kirsten Stewart received the César Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first American ever to do so.

In Sils Maria, Binoche offers an very nuanced portrayal of an aging actress who is struggling with her declining fame. In the film, Assayas blurs the lines between reality and fiction, resulting in a film that is both insightful as well as poignant. It explores the complicated relationships between mentors and their mentees and the relationship between movie stars and assistants.

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The indie rom-com: "Non-Fiction"

Binoche and Assayas's latest project collaboration was for the romantic comedy-drama, "Non-Fiction" (Doubles Vies), released in 2018. The movie centers around the lives of a group of French intellectuals, where Binoche plays the role of Selena, a successful actress who is married to a successful Parisian publisher, Alain (Guillaume Canet), struggling to adapt to the digital revolution.The film takes on an exploration of the nuances of relationships, finding how people are willing to adapt to changing circumstances.

In Non-Fiction, Binoche gives a bold and nuanced performance which cements her place as one of the best actresses working in the industry today. In the film, Assayas challenges viewers to question the role of technology in our lives and explores the effects of digitalization on our day-to-day relationships. The film has been praised for its brilliant performances by the cast and its modern, witty script.

All the way to Hollywood

Assayas has expressed the importance of his collaboration with Binoche in his success as a director, and he noted that working with her has contributed significantly to his international recognition. The culmination of these collaborations resulted in Assayas going on to direct Kristen Stewart in "Personal Shopper" and creating the HBO series, "Irma Vep", among other projects.

When accepting the UniFrance Award, Assayas said, "My recognition abroad has so much to do with the fact that I did three movies with Juliette Binoche who was already honored in similar circumstances (by UniFrance). I’m pretty sure that those movies became whatever they became thanks to her, thanks to her international fame."

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