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Juliette Binoche, the Deepika Padukone of French Cinema

Juliette Binoche, the alleged intelligent French actress fondly called by the French press as ‘La Binoche’ started her acting career in 1983. But it was later in 1988 that she caught the attention of international film critics with the release of her film ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ that marked the beginning of her stardom. Since then she has acted in over 60 films and even won an Academy Award in 1997. She is an actress, visual artist, dancer, painter, human rights campaigner, and singer. She has been politically active advocating artistic and journalistic freedom. Juliette Binoche, in 2008 released a book of portraits of her directors along with short poems about them.

Growing up with artistic genes

Juliette was born on March 9, 1964, in Paris, France. Juliette’s artistic genes come from her Polish mother Monique Yvette Stalens, a teacher, director, and actress and father Jean-Marie Binoche, a director, actor, and sculptor. Sadly, her parents divorced in 1968, after which Juliette and her sister Marion were sent away to a boarding school and hardly enjoyed time with their parents since. Not good in academics, Juliette decided to pursue dramatics. At 17, she directed and starred in a student play, Exit the King.

In the early 1980s, she joined a theater troupe, touring France, Belgium and Switzerland under the pseudonym “Juliette Adrienne”.   That soon led her to debut on French television series Dorothée, danseuse de corde (1983) followed by another small role in the television film Fort bloque.

In 1983, she got her first break in films with the motion picture Liberty Belle. However, small the role may have been, Juliette Binoche knew on the sets then, this is where she wanted to be. In 1986, Juliette was awarded the Romy-Scheneider Prize for her acting skills and technique.

From there the story of France’s most sought after actress begins…

Image credits: Pinterest

Awards and Recognition

As of 2017, Juliette Binoche was nominated 9 times for the César Awards and won once, for Three Colours: Blue (1993). She is also among the four achievers alongside Julianne Moore, Sean Penn and Jack Lemmon, to have won the top acting prizes at the three major film festivals: Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, and Berlin International Film Festival. In 2000, her movie Chocolat with superstar Johnny Depp put her on the global movie map. Her list of nominations being even longer, here are few of her notable awards:-

  • 2020 Winner Golden Icon Award
  • 2019 Rendez-Vous First Prize for Female Best Actress
  • 2018 Audience Award Best International Actress L’attesa (2015)
  • 2017 Felix Best Supporting Actress The English Patient (1996)
  • 2015 Halfway Award, Best Actress Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)
  • 2013 Honorary Award of the Festival Career Tribute
  • 2010 Best Actress Copie conforme (2010)
  • 2010 Maureen O’Hare Award at Kerry Film Festival for excellence in the field of film
  • 2007 Appeared in her first Playboy spread aged 43 in the November 2007 French edition.
  • 2002 The highest paid French actress in history
  • 1997 Oscar Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The English Patient (1996)
  • 1997 BAFTA Film Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role,  The English Patient (1996)
  • 1997 Silver Berlin Bear Best Actress, The English Patient (1996)
  • 1997 Chlotrudis Award, Best Supporting Actress, The English Patient (1996)
  • 1997 DFWFCA Award, Best Supporting Actress, The English Patient (1996)
  • 1997 Listed among “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” of Empire Magazien (UK)
  • 1997 Listed among “the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World” by “People” magazine
  • 1996 Won Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in The English Patient (1996) at the 69th Annual Academy Awards
  • 1996 ACCA Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The English Patient (1996)

(Information credits:  https://www.imdb.com/)

The True French Lover

“Giving birth is like a vase of beautiful flowers. Only you’re just the vase, and only for a very short moment. The flowers are beautiful, but they belong to themselves, not to the vase.” – Juliette Binoche

Juliette Binoche, the forward thinking French mother being unmarried believes she has still not met the right match. In 1993 she gave birth to her son Raphaël, whose father is Andre Halle, a professional scuba driver and again in 1999 to a daughter, Hana, with French actor and companion Benoît Magimel.

Though a fiercely private person her most well-known attachments have been with Leos Carax (1990-1991), Andre Halle (1992-1995), Benoit Magimel (1998-2003), Santiago Amigorena (2005-2008) and Patrick Muldoon (2003-2005, 2014-date).

Image credits: Daily Mail

Human Rights Activist

  • 2019 at the Berlin International Film Festival, Binoche spoke for Harvey Weinstein saying he has had enough and now let justice do its work.
  • 2018 she voiced her displeasure in the French newspaper Le Monde on the lawsuit brought by the government upon three people who had helped migrants.
  • 2010 Binoche spoke out against the detention of Iranian director Jafar Panahi. Her efforts at Cannes Film Festival paid off momentarily and he was released for 6 months on bail but later sentenced to 6-year jail term and 20 years ban on film direction.
  • 2010 she was a signatory in Reporters Without Borders protesting against unlawful detention of people on the occasion of the first anniversary of the disputed re-election of Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
  • 2010 Juliette Binoche joined Réseau Education Sans Frontieres (RESF) with a symbolic “cake of solidarity” to highlight the taxation and legitimacy issues being faced by numerous undocumented workers in France.
  • 2007 she supported presidential candidate José Bové who eventually lost to Nicolas Sarkozy.
  • 2006 Juliette participated in a part of a demonstration by Reporters Without Border to garner international attention to Jill Carroll and two Iraqi journalists who had been abducted in Baghdad.
  • 2002 attended a “protest picnic” to object to the firing of Canal+ chairman Pierre Lescure by the Vivendi Universal Company.
Image credits: YouTube

Charitable work

  • Since 1992 Juliette Binioche has been actively participating in the French Cambodian charity Enfants d’Asie. In the charity she is godmother to 5 Cambodian orphans. She has even funded the construction of a children’s home in Battambang in North West Cambodia. 
  • From the year 2000 Juliette became involved with the international organization Reporters Without Borders.
  • In 2002 She presided over a charitable event “Photos of Stars” with Thierry Ardisson. About a hundred French stars were given disposable cameras, which were then auctioned.

With Juliette Binoche saying, “there’s always the next move, the next transformation,” the world will be eagerly watching her…

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Rukshana is a freelance content and communication strategist based out of Mumbai, India. She mingles her expertise in PR with comprehensive domain knowledge and creative writing skills to assist and propagate business, worldwide. Being a quick learner, she utilizes her diversified digital expertise to provide copywriting and content writing services to create highly profitable brands, products, and services.

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