Juliette Binoche is a gift to the world.
In a career that has spanned decades, Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche has captured and delivered some of the most sensitive and soul-rending moments ever committed to celluloid. In director Philip Kaufman’s 1988 adaptation of Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, she is at once very vulnerable and extremely tough in the role of Tereza, a budding photographer who falls deliriously in love with a man (Daniel Day Lewis) who happens to have some very serious commitment issues. In one of that scene’s most simple and yet crushing moments, Binoche and Lewis must face the impossible decision of whether or not to euthanize their beloved yet ailing dog. Her face a tapestry of both pain and love, she looks from the pet to her husband and nails exactly what it means to love fully with heart and soul: “I was forced to love my mother, but not this dog…” It’s almost unbearable to watch, so in and of the moment Binoche’s character inhabits and it’s to her good credit that, though we may want to look away and allow this de facto family – man, woman, dog –this intimate moment to themselves, we simply cannot; Binoche not only breaks our heart in that scene, she heals it, too. That’s the real power of good acting and the French actress nails it with all of the force of a gentle breeze or a soft kiss on a summer day. Like I said, Juliette Binoche is a gift to the world.
According to our English Patient admirers over at The Hollywood Reporter, we’re not the only ones who know a good thing when we see it: Binoche has been chosen to be the recipient of a hallowed Donostia Award at this year’s San Sebastian Film Festival.
“Winner of an Academy Award for her work in The English Patient, the French actor will visit the city for the fourth time to receive one of this year’s Donostia Awards in recognition of an extensive career, which has seen her play almost 75 characters, from power-wielding heroines to fragile beings with historical figures, drama roles and comedy parts along the way,” the San Sebastian Film Festival said today in a press release announcing the honor.
We’re happy and excited for Ms. Binoche and her well-deserved recognition; now do yourselves a favor and, if you haven’t already, go check out any number of winning performances from one of the best actresses to ever grace the silver screen!