Jean-Louis Trintignant: five of his best films
Jean-Louis Trintignant starred in many classics of French and international cinema, but here are five of the best from his long career.
- "And God Created Woman" (1956) -
Notorious at the time for its frank depiction of sexuality, this film made stars of its two newcomer actors: Brigitte Bardot and Jean-Louis Trintignant.
Director Roger Vadim was married to "BB" when he brought the pair together, and ended his marriage in the process.
The actors were not immediately enamoured of each other. "He's awkward -- no one will believe I could fall in love with him," Bardot said.
"She was a little bitch," was Trintignant's review.
But the process of falling in love on screen made them fall in love for real, even if the affair didn't last for long.
"I loved Jean Lou like crazy," Bardot later said. "My moments of love with Trintignant were the happiest of my life."
- "A Man and a Woman" (1966) -
The classic by New Wave director Claude Lelouch won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and two Oscars.
It is the tale of two recently widowed people -- a racing driver and a script-girl (played by Anouk Aimee) -- who meet and fall in love in the seaside town of Deauville.
After watching the film again 50 years later, Trintignant told Paris Match: "We don't feel the effort it demanded of us, the lack of means. It's a sublime film. I already had about 30 feature films behind me, but for the first time, I felt good on set. Something magical happened."
Lelouch, Aimee and Trintignant reunited for a belated sequel in 2019, "The Best Years of a Life", which was to be the actor's final film.
- "Z" (1969) -
The classic political thriller from Greek director Costa Gavras won Trintignant the best actor award at Cannes.
Though set in France, it was a sharp critique of Greece's recent descent into fascism, and follows a magistrate investigating the death of a politician.
Trintignant brought a quiet authority to the role. "We always say that actors should not do politics. But we have to do it, we do too little," he said at the time.
- "The Conformist" (1970) -
Bernardo Bertolucci's film was another examination of the dangers of fascism -- this time set in 1930s Italy.
Trintignant plays a bureaucrat who seeks to bury his memories of childhood trauma by throwing himself into whatever political currents are dominant at the time and ends up agreeing to murder an academic.
The actor said it was "definitely the most beautiful film in which I participated."
- "Amour" (2012) -
For recent international audiences, this is perhaps the defining movie in Trintignant's career.
It was particularly poignant in France as his return to acting almost a decade after the death of his daughter at the hands of her abusive husband -- which he agreed to do out of admiration for Austrian director Michael Haneke.
He played alongside Emmanuelle Riva as a man in his eighties struggling to look after his wife after a stroke.
It went on to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes and best foreign language film at the Oscars.
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