Juliette Binoche (in French ; born 9 March 1964) is an Academy Award-winning French film actress. Binoche is well known worldwide for her roles in popular, award-winning films such as The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The English Patient (1996) and Chocolat (2000) as well as internationally successful arthouse films including Three Colors: Blue (1993) and Caché (2005). She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1997 for The English Patient, becoming the second French actress to win an Oscar.
Binoche began acting in amateur stage productions, and at 17 directed and starred in a student production of the Eugène Ionesco play, Exit the King. The next year, she studied acting at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts of Paris (CNSAD). She found an agent through a friend and joined a theatre troupe in which she toured France, Belgium and Switzerland under the pseudonym of "Juliette Adrienne".
After quitting the CNSAD, she began acting lessons with famed coach Vera Gregh. Following in her mother's footsteps, she became a stage actress, occasionally taking small parts in French feature films. Her first screen role was a small part in the 1983 television film Dorothée, danseuse de corde by Jacques Fensten, which was followed by a similarly small role in the provincial television film Fort bloque by Pierrick Guinnard. After Binoche secured her first big screen appearance with a small supporting role in Pascal Kané's Algeria-themed Liberty Belle, she decided to pursue a career in cinema.
In 1985, Binoche secured the lead role in André Téchiné's Rendez-vous. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival that year, winning Best Director. In 1986, Binoche was nominated for her first César Award for Best Actress for the film. Binoche's next film was a role in Mon beau-frère a tué ma soeur by Jacques Rouffio, which was a critical and commercial failure. Later that year, she starred opposite Michel Piccoli in Léos Carax's Mauvais Sang. This film, however, was a critical and commercial success, leading to Binoche's second César Award nomination. In August 1986, she portrayed Tereza in Philip Kaufman's The Unbearable Lightness of Being based on the Milan Kundera novel. This was Binoche's first English language role and was a worldwide success with critics and audiences alike. After this success, Binoche decided to return to France rather than pursue an international career.
In 1988, she filmed the lead in Pierre Pradinas's Un tour de manège, a little-seen French film. Later that year she began work on Léos Carax's Les Amants du Pont-Neuf. The film was beset by problems and took three years to complete. When it was released in 1991, The Lovers on the Bridge was a critical success. Binoche won a European Film Award for best actress as well as her third César Award nomination.
In 1995, Binoche appeared in a big-budget adaptation of Jean Giono's The Horseman on the Roof directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau. The film was a box-office success around the world and Binoche was again nominated for a César Award for Best Actress. This role as a romantic heroine was to color the direction of many of her roles in the late 1990s.
In 1996, Binoche appeared in A Couch in New York by Chantal Akerman. The film was a flop, but her next film was The English Patient, which was based on the acclaimed novel by Michael Ondaatje and directed by Anthony Minghella. The English Patient was a worldwide hit. It received nine Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Binoche. She said in her acceptance speech that it was such a surprise, and that she had thought fellow nominee Lauren Bacall was going to win; she started to thank people, but only got past her director Anthony Minghella before laughing that it "must be a dream... a French dream!
After this international hit, Binoche returned to France and began work opposite Daniel Auteuil on Claude Berri's Lucie Aubrac , which was based on a true story. However, Binoche was released from this movie six weeks into the shoot, over differences with Berri regarding the authenticity of his script. Next she worked again with André Téchiné on Alice et Martin (1998), followed in 1999 by Children of the Century in which she played 19th-century French writer George Sand.
2000 saw Binoche in four successful, but different, roles. Firstly was La Veuve de Saint-Pierre by Patrice Leconte for which she was nominated for a César Award for best actress. Next she appeared in Michael Haneke's Code Unknown, a film which was made following Binoche's approach to the Austrian director. Binoche made her Broadway debut in Harold Pinter's Betrayal for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. Back on screen, Binoche was the heroine of the Lasse Hallstrom film Chocolat for which she won a European Film Award for Best Actress and was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA.
Between 1995 and 2000, Binoche was the advertising face of the Lancôme scent Poème, her image adorning print campaigns and a TV advertising campaign. There were three commercials featuring Binoche for the perfume, including an advert directed by Anthony Minghella and scored by Gabriel Yared.
Binoche then teamed up with Michael Haneke again for Caché in 2005. The film was an immediate success, winning best director at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. Binoche was nominated for a European Film Award for Best Actress for her role. Binoche's next film was Bee Season with Richard Gere. Mary (2005) saw Binoche collaborate with Abel Ferrara for an investigation of modern faith and Mary Magdalene's position in the Catholic Church. The film was an immediate success, winning the Grand Prix at the 2005 Venice Film Festival.
2006 saw Binoche take part in the portmanteau work Paris, je t'aime appearing in a section directed by Nobuhiro Suwa. Binoche appeared at the 2006 Venice Film Festival to launch A Few Days in September, by Santiago Amigorena. Later in the month she traveled to the Toronto Film Festival for the premiere of Breaking and Entering, her second film with Anthony Minghella in the director's chair.
In 1993, Binoche exhibited work done in collaboration with the French designer and artist Christian Fenouillat. They plan to collaborate again in the future and are currently working on pieces themed by Cinema.
In 2004 Binoche organised an auction on behalf of Médecins Sans Frontières, in which disposable cameras were given to numerous celebrities and then auctioned off; the winner of each camera would then develop the pictures to reveal that celebrity's chosen subject.
|1983||Dorothée, danseuse de corde (Dorothy the Rope Dancer)||Television|
|Liberty belle||La fille du rallye|
|1985||Le Meilleur de la vie (A Better Life)||Une amie de Véronique au bar|
|Rendez-vous||Nina/Anne Larrieux||Nominated - César Award for Best Actress|
|Adieu blaireau (Farewell Blaireau)||Brigitte B., dite B.B.|
|La Vie de famille (Family Life)||Natacha|
|Les Nanas (The Chicks)||Antoinette|
|'Je vous salue, Marie' (Hail Mary)||Juliette|
|1986||Mauvais sang (Bad Blood)||Anna||Nominated - César Award for Best Actress|
|Mon beau-frère a tué ma soeur (My Brother-in-law Has Killed My Sister)||Esther Bouloire|
|1988||The Unbearable Lightness of Being||Tereza|
|1989||Un tour de manège (Roundabout)||Elsa|
|1991||Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (The Lovers on the Bridge)||Michèle Stalens||Nominated - César Award for Best Actress|
|Women & Men 2: In Love There Are No Rules||Mara||Television|
|1992||Damage||Anna Barton||Nominated - César Award for Best Actress|
|Wuthering Heights||Cathy Linton / Catherine Earnshaw|
|1993||Trois couleurs: Bleu (Three Colors: Blue)||Julie Vignon (de Courcy)||César Award for Best Actress; Nominated - Golden Globe|
|1994||Trois couleurs: Blanc (Three Colors: White)||Julie Vignon (de Courcy)|
|Trois couleurs: Rouge (Three Colors: Red)||Julie Vignon (de Courcy)|
|1995||The Horseman on the Roof||Pauline de Théus||Nominated - César Award for Best Actress|
|1996||The English Patient||Hana||Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress; BAFTA Award;|
Nominated - Golden Globe
|A Couch in New York||Beatrice Saulnier|
|1998||Alice et Martin (Alice and Martin)||Alice|
|1999||Children of the Century||George Sand/Baroness Aurore Dudevant|
|2000||Chocolat||Vianne Rocher||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress;|
Nominated - BAFTA Award; Nominated - Golden Globe
|Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys||Anne Laurent|
|La Veuve de Saint-Pierre (The Widow of Saint-Pierre)||Pauline (Madame La)||Nominated - César Award for Best Actress|
|2004||In My Country||Anna Malan|
|2005||Mary||Marie Palesi / Mary Magdalene|
|Caché (Hidden)||Anne Laurent|
|2006||Breaking and Entering||Amira|
|Quelques Jours en Septembre (A Few Days in September)||Irène Montano|
|Paris, je t'aime (Paris, I Love You)||Suzanne||segment "Place des Victoires"|
|2007||Dan in Real Life||Marie|
|Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge (Flight of the Red Balloon)||Suzanne|
|L'Heure d'été (Summer Hours)||Adrienne|