After the death of Jean-Paul Belmondo, Monday, September 6, at the age of 88, the international press praised the French star.
For the New York Times, the actor was both a mouth – a “Raw beauty”, to “Disdainful look” and “Cynical”, with a “Boxer’s nose” – and the“Incarnation” of the New Wave, this movement of young directors (Truffaut, Godard…) who wanted to wipe out a corseted French cinema, and whose wind of freedom marked the seventh art world.
“Like Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando and James Dean, (…) Mr. Belmondo forged his reputation by playing hard characters, without feelings, even antisocial, and breaking with bourgeois society. Later, (…) he accepted more popular roles, without renouncing his magnetic audacity ”, summarizes the American daily, greeting “One of the most imitated pop culture figures of his time. “
Belmondo is above all the personification of “The nonchalant antihero” and ” badass “, also underlines the Washington post. In sixty years of career and more than 80 films, “He was most at ease in the roles of charming thugs, rebels in love without a cause”, recalls the newspaper, which describes a whole man and “Allergic to pretenses”.
Like all newspapers, the Guardian lingers on his role in Breathless (1960), the film by Jean-Luc Godard which launched his career. The story of Michel – a killer on the run in Paris, where he reunites with Patricia (Jean Seberg), who ultimately denounces him to the police – allowed Belmondo to become “An icon of cinema”. “Belmondo was a French star to the core: he showed no aptitude or interest in learning English and succeeding in Hollywood like Charles Boyer or Maurice Chevalier”, adds the British daily.
“An irresistible” and “enigmatic” figure
For the Spanish newspaper El Pais ” Breathless is not a movie, it’s a legend, (…) and its protagonist found himself trapped for life in a character who, today, more than six decades later, is an icon in the history of cinema ”. And to add:
“For Godard, beauty is the splendor of truth, and that’s exactly what Belmondo is in this film. “
“For the public, Belmondo represented a new wave of actors with ordinary and imperfect features. (…) He would set a precedent for the stars with the allure of Mr. Everybody, like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman, who marked Hollywood films of the following two decades ”, considers, for its part, the magazine Hollywood Reporter, one of the benchmark publications for the American film industry.
American magazine Variety, also specialized in the seventh art, salutes the memory of a “Icon that inspired Spielberg and Tarantino”. Ultimately, Belmondo will remain “An irresistible figure, whose true identity remained enigmatic, but whose charm was such that one was ready to believe almost anything he sold”, writes the review.
Belgian daily The evening saluted ” a giant “ which symbolized “The reconciliation of auteur cinema and popular culture” :
“A legend disappears, and at the same time it is inscribed for eternity in the history of French cinema. Bébel captured the hearts of the public with a mimicry and a pirouette and never let go for more than half a century. “
“The image of the nonchalant devil”
“The French public has never tired of seeing his films again, on the big screen, on television or more recently on Netflix, which broadcasts thrillers as well as films shot under the leadership of Jean-Luc Godard”, recalls the Quebec newspaper Press, adding:
“Who, today, would dare the stunts that this daredevil loved to perform himself, like this race on the roof of a subway running in”Fear over the city ” ? Bébel thus leaves the memory of a physical actor, a king of slaps and slaps, cultivating a good dose of humor. “
“Cheeky and leaping, the tender thug will remain in the pantheon of the most sympathetic actors”, affirms for his part The weather. “He will be in his films the daring Frenchman, a little crazy, capable of the worst as well as the best. (…) A Frenchman who reminds us of those resistance fighters who came out of the war, tried and hardened by the clash of arms, but who remained resolutely idealistic ”, adds the Swiss daily in another article.
” At the end of the day, Bebel, as he was called at home in France, (…) participated in the writing of the history of French cinema », considers the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, which also pays tribute to the inveterate tobacco consumer that was Jean-Paul Belmondo:
“He mastered the art of smoking like no other (…). The cigarette had become his signature. “
“The man for whom nothing was impossible”, headlines the German daily Die welt. “But Godard will remain the only representative of the Nouvelle Vague to have really succeeded with Belmondo, shade the newspaper. Neither Truffaut nor Chabrol made their best films with him. If Alain Resnais, ten years after the New Wave, undoubtedly gave Belmondo his greatest role, with Stavisky, it is because he knew how to skillfully play with the image of the nonchalant devil that the actor had meanwhile abandoned in favor of more conventional finery. “