In the summer, I watch French films. It’s just a thing that I do. Last night I was watching Paris starring two of my favorite contemporary French actors, Romain Duris and Juliette Binoche, and it got me thinking about how different French film actors are from most famous American film actors. Not just in terms of their salaries and their willingness to get naked at the drop of a hat, but in terms of technique and acting style. When I’m watching a good French actor on screen, I get a sense—more than I do with most American movie stars—that there’s something going on inside, emotionally and intellectually. There’s a certain combination of vulnerability, wildness, and thoughtfulness that my favorite French actors share. The quality I’m thinking of can be found in a few American actors, and they’re some of my favorites, too. For reference purposes, I’m talking about people who aren’t nearly as popular as I think they should be, e.g. Laura Linney, Peter Sarsgaard, Sam Rockwell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Mary-Louise Parker.
So, anyway, I started compiling a list of contemporary French actors and actresses I love. And I feel compelled to share that list with you because…well, because that’s what people do on blogs. I’ll start with the French actresses that you should know. Not just because they’re hot, which they are, but because they’re talented. And, for the record, I’m omitting some of the ones I imagine you already know—Audrey Tautou, Eva Green, Juliette Binoche, and Marion Cotillard—not because they’re not hot and talented, but because you probably already know them.
Here’s my illustrated list of hot, talented French actresses.
Head on over to Netflix and add their movies to your queue. You’ll be glad you did.
I’ll post the men later on. Stay tuned.