Divas on the edge in Venice – flaunt magazine
Another noteworthy entry from this training is that of Thomas Kruithof Promises (The promises), where the French superstar Isabelle Huppert plays Clémence, the intrepid mayor of a city near Paris. In his quest to survive in the political arena, Huppert’s character finds himself at odds with his citizens, but also with his conscience.
Lately, the versatile Huppert, known for bringing credibility and warmth to characters who would otherwise be labeled as cold and distant, has played a wide range of roles. From the police translator who became a drug trafficker wearing the “Mama Weed” hijab in the homonymous film by Jean-Paul Salomé, to her interpretation of Maud, the alter ego of filmmaker Catherine Breillat as she faced difficulties of suffering a debilitating stroke, in the spellbinding autobiographical drama of the French director Abuse of weakness.
I asked Huppert in Venice what attracted him to a role. “The director,” she admits, but conceded that “it’s different every time. In the case of a beginning director, this is pure intuition. But always, the more concrete the dialogue, the more time passes, the more I think the dialogues say the most about what the film will be.
So, does Huppert think life should be lived in shades of gray, as the heroines she plays often do? “I think that makes good films. The rest, I don’t know… ”She concedes:“ It surely makes good films because it is more precise on the human race. You don’t have the good, you don’t have the bad, you know how to deal with opportunities and reality.
When men were pushed to tell women’s stories on the big screen, as Kruithof did with Promises, and if women should be the ones to do it instead, she used an old favorite quote from French writer Nathalie Sarraute. “There is no such thing as women’s literature,” but Huppert also acknowledged that “you can spend the afternoon trying to find the right answer to that”.