Juliette Binoche's Top 10 Movies and Where To Find Them

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Juliette Binoche in "La Bonne Épouse" © TV5MONDE USA Inc.
Juliette Binoche in "La Bonne Épouse" © TV5MONDE USA Inc.
Juliette Binoche in "La Bonne Épouse" © TV5MONDE USA Inc.

Juliette Binoche, the iconic French actress, has graced the silver screen with her extraordinary talent and versatility for decades. Her filmography...[Click "Lire la suite" to read more]

 

Copyright for the main image of this article:
Juliette Binoche La bonne épouse © Les films du Kiosque, Orange Studio, Umedia, France 3 Cinéma

Juliette Binoche, the iconic French actress, has graced the silver screen with her extraordinary talent and versatility for decades. Her filmography is a testament to her ability to portray a wide range of characters with depth and authenticity. So let's explore Juliette Binoche's top 10 movies, each offering a unique glimpse into her remarkable career, from the critically acclaimed "The English Patient" to the fan favorite "Chocolat" and the lesser-known gems like "The Taste of Things.

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1. The English Patient (1996)

  • Director: Anthony Minghella
  • Release Year: 1996

"The English Patient" stands as one of Juliette Binoche's most celebrated works. Directed by Anthony Minghella, this epic romantic drama is set against the backdrop of World War II. Binoche plays Hana, a nurse caring for a severely burned patient in an Italian monastery. The film received widespread acclaim for its sweeping narrative, lush cinematography, and emotionally resonant performances.

Critics praised Binoche's portrayal of Hana, noting her ability to convey a complex range of emotions with subtlety and grace. Her performance earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, solidifying her status as one of the few French actresses who made it into Hollywood. She also won a Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a BAFTA Award for that same role. "The English Patient" also won the coveted Best Picture Oscar and several other awards, making it a landmark film in Binoche's illustrious career.

2. Un Divan à New York (1996)

  • Director: Chantal Akerman
  • Release Year: 1996

In this romantic comedy directed by Chantal Akerman, Juliette Binoche stars as Beatrice, a French dancer who switches apartments with an American psychoanalyst, played by William Hurt. The cultural clash and comedic misunderstandings that ensue form the heart of the film.

"Un Divan à New York" received good reviews from critics, with some praising the charming performances and witty dialogue, although some found the plot too reliant on classic rom-com twists. Binoche's performance, however, was well-received as no-one was expecting to find her in your typical rom-com, à la Nora Ephron. The film adds a delightful note to Binoche's filmography, and a perfect watch for a rainy Sunday afternoon!

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3. Between Two Worlds (2021)

  • Director: Emmanuel Carrère
  • Release Year: 2021

Based on Florence Aubenas’s bestseller Le Quai de Ouistreham, Between Two Worlds (released as Ouistreham in France) provides a compelling look at the daily injustices faced by low-paid workers in Northern France. Juliette Binoche plays Marianne Winckler, a well-known author, who is writing a new book on the subject of job insecurity. Without revealing her true identity, she gets hired as a cleaner, working with a group of other women and learning about the challenges that they face everyday but also the solidarity and strong bonds shared by these behind-the-scenes working women. Juliette Binoche was nominated for the 11th time (!) at the César award for this role (she so far has only won once, in 1994 for Three Colors: Blue).

4. Telle Mère, Telle Fille (2016)

  • Director: Noémie Saglio
  • Release Year: 2016

Here is Juliette Binoche in a totally out-of-character role! In the French comedy "Telle Mère, Telle Fille," directed by Noémie Saglio, Juliette Binoche shares the screen with Camille Cottin in a delightful exploration of the complexities of mother-daughter relationships. Binoche takes on the role of Mado, a free-spirited and bohemian mother who unexpectedly discovers that she is pregnant at the same time as her daughter Avril, played by Cottin. The film unfolds as the two navigate the challenges and joys of impending motherhood simultaneously.

"Telle Mère, Telle Fille" received positive reviews for its humor, heartwarming moments, and the dynamic chemistry between Binoche and Cottin.  Binoche's performance as Mado was praised for her comedic capabilities while still capturing the essence of a mother trying to balance her own life with the challenges of impending grandmotherhood. While the film may not be as widely recognized as some of Binoche's other works, it contributes to her diverse filmography by showcasing her versatility in navigating both comedic and dramatic roles.

Telle mère, telle fille on TV5MONDE

5. La Bonne Épouse (2020)

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  • Director: Martin Provost
  • Release Year: 2020

Directed by Martin Provost, "La Bonne Épouse" (English title: "How to Be a Good Wife") is a satirical comedy set in a conservative French school in the 1960s on the verge of bankrupcy. Juliette Binoche plays the role of Paulette Van der Beck, the head of the school, whose world is turned upside down when societal norms are challenged and the traditional ways are now seen as old-fashioned. The movie was praised for its humor and social commentary. A great French movie to watch with the whole family.

Now playing on TV5 Cinema on Demand

6. The Taste of Things (2023)

  • Director:  Trần Anh Hùng
  • Release Year: 2023

One of the best French movie of the year "The Taste of Things" (original title: "La passion de Dodin Bouffant), is a delicious film celebrating French cuisine. The movie is set 1885. Juliette Binoche plays Eugénie, a cook who works for the famous gourmet Dodin for the last 20 years. As time goes by, the practice of gastronomy and mutual admiration turns into a romantic relationship.
Their association gives rise to dishes, one more delicious than the next, but Eugenie is fond of her freedom and has never wanted to marry Dodin. So, he decides to do something he has never done before: cook for her. Not your average romantic comedy, "The Taste of Things" is feel-good movie at its best thanks to the chemistry between Benoît Magimel and Juliette Binoche.

7. Three Colours: Blue (1993)

  • Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski
  • Release Year: 1993

In Krzysztof Kieślowski's acclaimed film "Three Colours: Blue," Juliette Binoche delivers a tour-de-force performance as Julie, a woman grappling with grief after the tragic death of her husband and daughter in a car accident. The film is the first installment of Kieślowski's Three Colors Trilogy, with each film representing one of the colors of the French flag and exploring the themes of liberty, equality, and fraternity.

"Three Colours: Blue" received widespread critical acclaim for its profound exploration of grief and the human spirit. Binoche's performance was a standout, earning her the prestigious César Award for Best Actress in 1994. The film also received numerous other awards and nominations, solidifying its place as a cinematic masterpiece and one of the highlights of Binoche's career.

8. Chocolat (2000)

  • Director: Lasse Hallström
    • Release Year: 2000

In Lasse Hallström's "Chocolat," Juliette Binoche takes on the role of Vianne Rocher, a free-spirited chocolatier who arrives in a conservative French village, challenging societal norms with her delectable creations and unconventional lifestyle. The film, based on the novel by Joanne Harris, weaves a tale of indulgence, temptation, and the transformative power of chocolate.

"Chocolat" received raving critics for its enchanting atmosphere, delightful narrative, and the chemistry between Binoche and Johnny Depp. Binoche's performance, is yet another example or her warmth and charm when it comes to romantic comedies. Her portrayal contributed significantly to the film's success, earning her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Chocolat is a sweet addition to Juliette Binoche's filmography!

9. Rendez-vous (1985)

  • Director: André Téchiné
  • Release Year: 1985

Directed by André Téchiné, "Rendez-vous" is a psychological drama that follows the life of Nina, a young actress portrayed by Juliette Binoche, as she navigates the challenges and pitfalls of the Parisian theater scene. The film explores themes of passion, ambition, and the price of success in the competitive world of acting.

"Rendez-vous" is considered Binoche's breakthrough performance, earning her the Best Actress award at the Venice Film Festival. The film marked a pivotal moment in Binoche's career, setting the stage for her future success on both French and international screens.

10. Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (1991)

  • Director: Leos Carax
  • Release Year: 1991

"Les Amants du Pont-Neuf" (English title: "The Lovers on the Bridge"), directed by Leos Carax, is a visually stunning and emotionally charged romance that unfolds against the backdrop of Paris. Juliette Binoche plays the role of Michèle, a visually impaired artist, who falls in love with a homeless street performer, portrayed by Denis Lavant.

The film received critical acclaim for its bold visual style, capturing the beauty of Parisian landscapes and the intensity of the characters' emotions. Binoche's performance was highly praised for its depth and vulnerability, earning here once again a César Award nomination for Best Actress. Despite facing many financial challenges during production, "Les Amants du Pont-Neuf", one of the most expansive French films ever made, remains a testament to Binoche's commitment to artistic and challenging projects.

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If you have enjoyed this article about Juliette Binoche you may also want to read:
Between Two Worlds: a fascinating true story with Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche & Olivier Assayas: The Powerful Duo of French Cinema
Juliette Binoche in "The Taste of Things": a French Gourmet Cinematic Experience