In France, as in the US, cinema can be a family affair. A few family favorites, with their most representative films:
Son of screenwriter Michel Audiard. Un Prophète (A Prophet), 2009
His father, prolific screenwriter Michel Audiard, acquired a cult following for his quirky dialogue in humorous 1960s thrillers such as Les Tontons Flingueurs (Georges Lautner, 1963). Today, Jacques Audiard is regarded as one of France’s finest filmmakers. A perfectionist, he made only a half dozen films in two decades, but all of them, mostly stylized noir thrillers, have received numerous awards. His latest film, De Rouille et d’Os (Rust & Bone), was in competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
Daughter of French actress Catherine Deneuve and Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni. Non Ma Fille, Tu n’Iras Pas Danser (Making Plans for Lena) Christophe Honoré, 2009
For her first significant role, in Ma Saison Préférée (My Favorite Season, 1993) by André Téchiné, Chiara Mastroianni was cast as Deneuve’s daughter. Now a darling of French independent cinema, Chiara, the spitting image of her famous father, has often shared the screen with her equally famous mother, most recently in Christophe Honoré’s musical drama Les Bien-Aimés (The Beloved, 2011), where they are once again cast as mother and daughter.
Son of actor Jean-Pierre Cassel. Mesrine Jean-François Richet, 2008
Singer, actor and dancer Jean-Pierre Cassel was discovered by Gene Kelly and went on to become very popular in 1970s French comedies. His son, Vincent, could not be more different. He scored his first big hit with his role in La Haine (1995), the second film by his friend Mathieu Kassovitz, and since then has often played tough guys in both French and US films (Eastern Promises, Ocean’s Thirteen, Black Swan). He and his wife, Italian sex symbol Monica Bellucci, are one of France’s most glamorous couples.
Daughter of actor Gérard Depardieu. Un Secret (A Secret) Claude Miller, 2007
The actress began her career in 1994 with a small role alongside her imposing father in Le Colonel Chabert by Yves Angelo. A cute and cheery blonde with a big personality, physically as tiny as her father is large, Julie Depardieu is often cast as the best friend or sister; she has received two Césars for Best Supporting Actress. Her brother Guillaume, who died at age 37, was also an acclaimed actor.
Son of indie film director Philippe Garrel. Les Chansons d’Amour (Love Songs) Christophe Honoré, 2007
Philippe Garrel, the son of actor Maurice Garrel, put his son Louis to work at the age of six, in Les Baisers de Secours (1989), and later gave him his big break with Les Amants Réguliers (Regular Lovers, 2005), in a role that earned Louis the César for Most Promising Actor. With his good looks and Parisian charm, he has been compared to Jean-Pierre Léaud, and his professional relationship with director Christophe Honoré can be compared to that of Léaud with François Truffaut 40 years ago. Louis’s younger sister, Esther Garrel, is also an actress.
Daughter of actress Marlène Jobert. Casino Royale Martin Campbell, 2006
Redhead Marlène Jobert was a hugely popular French actress in the 1970s when she interrupted her thriving career after the birth of her twin daughters, Eva and Joy, in 1980. In 2003, France—and the world—discovered the striking brunette Eva Green in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers. Since then, she has worked mostly in Hollywood, most recently playing the vengeful witch in Tim Burton’s latest gothic fantasy, Dark Shadows.
Find French films in our France Today Bookstore. Other possible sources: www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.fr, www.facetsdvd.com, www.fnac.com. When you order DVDs from France, you’ll need a multiformat DVD player that can read Zone 2 DVDs.
Originally published in the June 2012 issue of France Today.
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