‘The Piano Teacher’ may be the definitive movie of Isabelle Huppert, recipient of IFFI’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted on November 21, 2019


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At Cannes, this year, I caught the new Ira Sachs film, Frankie. It has Isabelle Huppert in the titular role, and she opens the movie by taking her swimsuit top off at the pool of a resort and diving in. Her disapproving step-granddaughter (it’s  a complicated family tree) says there are other people around, and some of them have cameras. Frankie doesn’t care. She simply says, “I am very photogenic.” I laughed, because such confidence is perhaps second nature to the famous actress that Frankie is. And the casting of a famous actress like Huppert brings in a level of meta-ness as well.

Huppert, who is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Film Festival of India, is a bona fide movie legend. She made her debut in the early 1970s, with actresses like Nathalie Baye and Isabelle Adjani. (She began by playing Student #2 in Faustine et le Bel Été, in 1972). Since then, she has become known for her minimalist style, which is best described in a Financial Times interview from 2017. This is one of those sessions conducted over a meal. The writer watches her observing other people at the restaurant. Huppert says her acting isn’t based on this observation.

Continued at the link above.

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