Catherine Deneuve

© Carole Bellaiche / H&K


16. 3. 19:45  #12   A Christmas Tale

The star of the opening ceremony of the 25th Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest will be the hugely accomplished actress Catherine Deneuve, the personification of elegance and French charm. This great luminary of world cinema will receive the Kristián award at the festival.

Catherine Deneuve stands out among the many popular French actresses who began their careers in the 1960s. She achieved her first major success in 1964 with the film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. However, she had appeared in a minor role as early as in 1957. Since then she has performed in dozens of films and become an absolute icon of French cinema. The 1960s were a period of enormous success for her, while to this day she shoots up to five films a year.

Catherine Deneuve became famous for the role of the bored beauty Séverine in Luis Buñuel’s 1967 classic Belle de Jour. In 1969 she appeared in the controversial film Mississippi Mermaid by François Truffaut. She won her first César for The Last Metro in 1980 and since then has been nominated eight times for the top French film award. Some of her appearances in films featuring lesbian characters sparked controversy in their day; she kissed Anne Parillaud in Écoute voir (1987), while the US film The Hunger (1983), in which she played a bisexual vampire, became a cult hit.

Alongside her numerous dramas, the actress has also appeared in several hit comedies, including Lovers Like Us (1975) with Yves Montand, and L’Africain (1983) with Philippe Noiret. In more recent years she has impressed in such films as Dancer in the Dark (2000) by Lars von Trier and 8 Women (2002) by François Ozon. She received her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Eliane in the epic Indochine (1992), though she is yet to receive the famous statuette.

On Friday March 16th, the queen of French film, as Catherine Deneuve is often called, will introduce director Arnaud Desplechin’s critically and commercially successful tragicomedy A Christmas Tale (2008), in which she plays a leading role. Festival-goers can also see her in another Desplechin picture, Kings and Queen.

Arnaud Desplechin is coming to Prague for the second half of the festival and will present his most recent film Ismael’s Ghosts as part of a profile of his work.