Starring Isabelle Adjani

Today is the 55th birthday of one of France's national treasures, Isabelle Adjani. She's the youngest Oscar® Best Actress nominee (for The Story of Adele H.), until Keisha Castle-Hughes broke that record in 2003.

It's great to see that she's making movies again after taking a long break in the mid-90s. As a birthday tribute to one of the finest actresses alive, allow me to present to you my top five performances by the Adjani.

1. Possession (1981)

Anna is a young housewife who leaves her family for "somebody else." At first she looks like a woman who's just having some personal troubles. But as the film moves on, Anna transforms into a deranged character.

"Overcooked." "Exaggerated." That's what some audiences say about Adjani's performance in Possession. Whatever. Adjani is at the top of her game here. As I've said before, her strong portrayal of Anna dominates her own performance as Helen. Adjani as Anna is the performance that made Isabelle Adjani one of my favorite actresses.

An excerpt from Possession:

2. Mortelle randonnée (1983)

Catherine Leiris is a self-destructive young woman who captured the eyes of a private detective nicknamed The Eye (Michel Serrault).

Through Adjani's sensitive portrayal, we are able to feel Catherine's angst. Catherine is a tormented soul, and Adjani was able to let us in to Catherine's despondent world.

An excerpt from Mortelle randonnée:

3. The Story of Adele H. (1975)

The film is based on the journal of Victor Hugo's daughter, Adèle. Like Deanie of Splendor in the Grass, Adèle is a hopeless romantic who suffers a nervous breakdown. Unlike Deanie, Adèle is a stalker.

The Story of Adele H. is Isabelle Adjani's show. In this film, Adjani is like a flower in full bloom. She's so pretty, you can't help but think "this chick is so hot, why does she waste her time stalking that lieutenant?!"

An excerpt from The Story of Adele H.:

4. One Deadly Summer (1983)

Eliane Wieck is the town's main attraction. She "falls in love" with this guy nicknamed Pin-Pon (Alain Souchon). Is that it? No. Eliane may look like a dolt on the outside, but she's actually a young woman with an intelligent and erring scheme.

The daring Adjani bares all (literally) as Eliane. The Eliane character is like a force of nature, I somehow forgot about the actress portraying her.

An excerpt from One Deadly Summer:

5. Les sœurs Brontë (1979)

Adjani is Emily Brontë, the 1/3 of the famous Brontë sisters. Emily is soft-spoken, but her words are loud. Emily is different from most of the characters Adjani usually portrays. In here, Adjani is discreet but charming.

An excerpt from Les sœurs Brontë:


1. Camille Claudel
2. Possession
One Deadly Summer
3. Mortelle randonnée
4. The Story of Adele H.
5. Les sœurs Brontë

DISCLAIMER: No copyright infringement intended. I don't own or claim to own any of the photos used.


Anonymous said...

I'm also a fan of Isabelle Adjani but so far I've only seen La Reigne Margot and Camille Claudel. Where do you get your movies, preferrably with subtitles? Thank a lot

That Film Enthusiast said...

I get some of them online. But mostly from a friend abroad who's kind enough to buy me copies of Isabelle's films.

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