CINEMA – Marie Trintignant, who died in 2003, should have been 60 years old this Friday, January 21. 18 years after his death, his mother, Nadine Trintignant pays homage to him through Marie Trintignant, your shattered dreams, a poignant 52-minute documentary broadcast this Wednesday, January 26 at 10:45 p.m. on Arte, and available in line since last week. Touching and very intimate, the film retraces, archives in support, the intense career of the actress, broke in full glory at the age of 41 years.
Because if Marie Trintignant has become, since her death under the blows of her companion Bertrand Cantat, a symbol of the fight against domestic violence in France, she was also and above all, a formidable actress. An aspect that Nadine Trintignant wanted at all costs to put in the foreground.
“We stayed too long on this horrible end. Me, of course, I stay there for life, but I wanted to give another image of Marie (…) while respecting her private life, because she never wanted to expose it”, she declared. in an interview given this Friday to Free lunch.
It was still a child, at the age of 11, that Marie Trintignant, who initially wanted to be a veterinarian, embraced a career as an actress. A “first snippet of an actress” as Nadine Trintignant describes it, which she feels on the set of one of her feature films, defense of knowledge.
It couldn’t be otherwise. Actor’s Daughter Jean-Louis Trintignant, then daughter-in-law (later adopted) of the director Alain Corneau, two sacred monsters of French cinema, the young teenager only hears “talk about cinema and theater at home”, explains her mother.
Marie had this angelic presence that I needed.Alain Corneau, director of “Black Series” in 1979.
It is moreover the filmmaker who launches her for good in the bath with the cult film Black sequence, alongside Patrick Dewaere, in 1979. Marie Trintignant, who had only acted in her parents’ films until then, was only 17 when she was thrust into the limelight. “She had this angelic presence that I needed,” confided the director, who died in 2010, during an interview rebroadcast in the documentary.
“Alain and Patrick really did half of my work. I put all the heart that I could but it was they who helped me because I was not structured”, breathed the person concerned. “He (Patrick) was doing things that weren’t intended to make me react properly to the scene”. The young woman then began to doubt, and said to herself at that time that she “cannot do this job”, fearing to end up “in the asylum, broken”.
However, she admits it afterwards, “it’s not while we shoot that we learn something, but it’s once the shooting is finished, in the film after that we realize that the ‘we learned something’.
Marie Trintignant alongside Marcello Mastroianni
One year later Black sequence, while his father takes him to Rome on the set of the film The terrace of the Italian director Ettore Scola, this one locates it. “You are exactly the character I am looking for. The gaze of youth on disillusioned fifty-somethings,” he says. A precocious talent, the actress then found herself alongside three of the biggest names in transalpine cinema: Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio Grassman and even Ugo Tognazzi.
She then continues her crazy rise with four new films: A red morning by Jean-Jacques Aublanc in 1981, deep waters by Michel Deville the same year, The islands by Iradj Azimi in 1983 and especially Next summer, again with her mother in 1985, surrounded by legends Philippe Noiret, Claudia Cardinale and Fanny Ardant.
She had her own talent, almost a glimmer of geniusClaude Chabrol, director of “Betty” in 1992.
In 1988, she became one of Claude Chabrol’s muses, in A women’s affair, where she gives the reply to a certain Isabelle Huppert. “I had known her since I was little, and she was the one who had literally snatched the role from me,” confided the iconic filmmaker of the New Wave at the time. Marie Trintignant indeed asks to play a prostitute and finally manages to convince the director, reluctant at first.
Amazed by his performance, he decides to make him the star of his film Betty, in 1992. However, the actress was the victim of a car accident shortly before the start of filming, and convinced herself that she would not have the role. Claude Chabrol is not of this opinion and “decided to wait for it”, which has the effect of “inflating the actress to the block”, according to him.
She embodies a haggard and lost woman, who became an alcoholic after being chased away from her in-laws. Brilliant in this register, it marks the spirits. “I’m in real pain when playing, except that I manage to stop it, which I couldn’t do before,” she explained. “She has her own talent, with almost a glimmer of genius at times. We were all impressed,” added Claude Chabrol.
Between A women’s affair and Betty, the actress is filming, in English, alongside Colin Firth and Peter O’Toole in The Wings of Fame by Otakar Votocek. She also plays in A summer night in town by Michel Deville, with Jean-Luc Anglade.
When Marie Trintignant went on stage
Alongside the cinema, she treads the boards of the national theater of Chaillot, accompanied by her companion at the time, François Cluzet. The couple put together the romantic comedy It’s not just dogs who love each other. We can see Marie Trintignant in a more comic register.
She then appeared, with Jean-Pierre Marielle, Patrick Chesnais and Guillaume Depardieu, in the famous play by Harold Pinter The return, re-adapted by Éric Kahane at the Théâtre de l’Atelier in 1994. She lends her features to the character of Ruth, who meets her companion’s family, made up of four men.
She is quite simply the greatest French actress.”Jean Pierre Marielle
“It’s the return of femininity in this family (…) She brings everything that they no longer have since the death of the mother”, delivered at the time Bernard Murat, the director of the show . “We can say that it is at the same time the return of the mother, of the wife, of the mistress, of the daughter. So an actress with a transcendent personality was needed to play this role. This is the case of Marie who has an incredible presence”, he praised.
“I am Marie Trintignant’s groupie,” added Jean-Pierre Marielle. And to the question of knowing why, the illustrious actor answered: “She is simply the greatest French actress”.
She replayed with Guillaume Depardieu on the big screen in 1998, in the film As she breathes by Pierre Salvadori. “She has a thickness, she lugs around a little mystery. It’s very practical when a director is lazy in terms of the script, since it gives the impression of already having a story, a past”, confided the director, even describing it as a “walking script”.
Become a director, her dream shattered
The actress then finds herself facing Jean-Louis Trintignant, 26 years after their last film together, at the Théâtre de l’Atelier. The two interpret Poems to Lou, by Guillaume Apollinaire. A romantic poem, but also erotic, that the father and daughter have no trouble embodying, despite their blood ties.
“You can say anything with Marie, that’s why I’m not embarrassed to play with her and say erotic things with her,” the actor whispered at the time. “There is not this conscience there to say ‘my god, I say that to my father’ (…) these poems, it is he who made me discover them. It was our Apollinaire garden”, added the actress.
Capable of playing any role opposite anyone, whether on stage or in the cinema, Marie Trintignant, nominated twice for the César for best actress, in 1997 and 1999, has left a lasting mark on French cinema with her footprint. The actress even wanted, before her death, to become a director, and “she would have succeeded” according to his mother. One of his many shattered dreams.
See also on The HuffPost: Gaspard Ulliel and his scar, the story behind this brand that was “part of him”