« I have been part of the game for 38 years and yet I am still so … upset, upset, astonished, shocked, scared, terrified, amused, moved … cinema has indeed a magic that no one can fully explain »
If audacity could come to life on screen, it would surely take the form of Charlotte Gainsbourg. An actress of risk, of shameless delicacy, Charlotte Gainsbourg has built her craft on flaws and authenticity. Charlotte Gainsbourg throws herself into films with a giant leap into the void, embracing risk to the fullest. Claude Miller, Lars von Trier, Riad Sattouf and Gaspar Noé have understood this perfectly, offering her dangerous roles in which she services the film without a net and without a filter.
Charlotte Gainsbourg is also, of course, a voice, a voice that whispers, but above all, a voice that dares and challenges: Jacques Doillon, Bertrand Blier, Yvan Attal, Benoît Jacquot and countless others have discerned the troubling power of her rhythm and singular musicality. Hidden behind her melancholic fragility is a lioness of cinema: each role is like a waterfall in which she puts her entire self with a kind of brazen shyness. Other directors have sought out her dark and bewitching side, like Alejandro González Iñárritu, Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, Wim Wenders and Arnaud Desplechin; others see danger, like David Bayley, Eric Rochant and Franco Zeffirelli; and it is clearly her love for Billy Wilder that led her to work with Michel Blanc, Danièle Thompson and tackle comedy head-on. Whatever the role, she has the gift of teeming with grace, that wavering of the soul which all great filmmakers seek.
Timid, she’s unintimidated by scandal. Popular, she explores the fringes. Instinctual, she admires mastery. Whether in English or in French, funny or melancholy, actor and musician, she cultivates her ambiguities and her paradoxes.
To bring widespread attention to many titles in this exceptional year, we needed this actress of international stature, and as of now director, this cinematic adventuress, and we are grateful she accepted the mission of Jury President with full enthusiasm.
Photo © Collier Schorr