Tuesday, November 11, 2008

An Early Christmas Gift

I like French writer/director Arnaud Desplechin quite a bit, especially the epic My Sex Life, or How I Got Into an Argument, but Catherine Deneuve is, for me, something else altogether. I love Catherine Deneuve.

I don't want to say she's my favorite actress, however, because that implies she's superior to other favored screen sirens, like Julie Christie and Barbara Stanwyck.
All three have something special to offer, but she's a contender for the top spot.

In honor of Desplechin's A Christmas Tale, in which she co-stars with Mathieu Amalric, Melvil Poupard, Emanuelle Devos (the director's ex), and Deneuve's daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, the current issue of Film Comment showcases a lengthy piece in which Desplechin interviews Deneuve, who previously appeared in Kings and Queen with much the same cast.

It's one of the best interviews I've ever read; arguably, the best of the year.
Click here to give it a whirl. In short: a full-course meal for the Francophile.

A Christmas Tale opens at Seattle's Seven Gables on Fri., 11/21. Interestingly,
my book club has been reading Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, which centers
around a Christmas get-together and features one of the most dysfunctional fam-
ilies to come down the literary pike. It's a gross over-simplification, since Despech-
in's multi-layered movies tend to resist easy categorization, but let's just say that
A Christmas Tale is the French cinematic equivalent. Except it's even funnier.

[vanity fair]

While I'm at it, the new issue of Vanity Fair pays tribute to Deneuve
through the photographs of a strangely-elongated Kate Winslet, who
recreates a few of Deneuve's most iconic poses. I love Winslet, too,
but see no need to Photoshop her figure into Barbie Doll proportions.
Images from For When I Feel Like Sharing, Moving Image Source
(IFC and Why Not Productions), and Vanity Fair (Steven Meisel).


  1. Glad to see someone else recognized a connection between The Corrections and this film, I was constantly recalling that book as I watched it last night.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Rob. I'm surprised no one else has mentioned "The Corrections," unless I've been missing the references. Speaking of which, this essay is worth a read: http://www.newsweek.com/id/174271
    Excerpt: "The names George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden don't appear once in...'The Corrections.' And yet the book, which was published on Sept. 1, 2001, anticipates almost eerily the major concerns of the next seven years."