best film: Blue and Cache stand alone in the upper echelon for Binoche (I don’t really count the half-second she’s in Red). She has a slew of films in a tier or two below: Lovers on a Bridge, Summer Hours, English Patient, Code Unknown. If forced to choose I’ll go with Blue as I have a little more distance from it in comparison with Cache and I’m so confident in the visual strengths of the film.
best performance: Blue and I don’t think this category is terribly close. That’s no insult to the rest of her oeuvre—I just think Binoche is so superior in Blue. She wears the tragic moments of the film so well and there’s no better face than Binoche’s for Kieślowski’s lingering camera, pauses and silent moments. To be clear for most actresses in film’s history a performance like Code Unknown, Certified Copy or even stuff off her top five like Sils Maria or The Unbearable Lightness of Being would be career highlights- but not for Binoche with her great depth here.
stylistic innovations/traits: For 30 years now Binoche has been Ms. International cinema. She’s continued to work in her native France but she’s worked with great ambitious auteurs from around the globe and even has an Oscar (English Patient) for a performance in English. She’s sparred with Day-Lewis, Fiennes, Denis Lavant, and others and always comes out on top. She’s been in a big masterpiece from the 90’s (Blue) and one from the 00’s (Cache).
directors worked with: Kieślowski (3) but it’s really one film, Carax (2), Haneke (2) and Kiarostami. These are auteurs who were born in four different countries. Assayas (2)… She’s also worked with Minghella, Hsiao-Hsien Hou.
Top 5 Performances:
- The Lovers on a Bridge
- Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys
- The English Patient
- Certified Copy
|1986- Mauvais Sang|
|1988- Unbearable Lightness of Being|
|1991- The Lovers on a Bridge|
|1996- The English Patient|
|2000- Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys|
|2000- The Widow of Saint-Pierre|
|2007- The Flight of the Red Balloon|
|2008- Summer Hours|
|2010- Certified Copy|
|2014- Clouds of Sils Maria|