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French Beauty (2005)

A story about the riddle of femininity in French cinema.


Pascale Lamche


Pascale Lamche


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Credited cast:
Thierry Arbogast Thierry Arbogast ... Himself
Fanny Ardant ... Herself (archive footage)
Brigitte Bardot ... Herself
Juliette Binoche ... Herself
Jane Birkin ... Herself
Catherine Breillat ... Herself
Emmanuelle Béart ... Herself (archive footage)
Amira Casar ... Herself
Laetitia Casta ... Herself
Sylvie de Chirée Sylvie de Chirée ... Herself
Catherine Deneuve ... Herself
Lou Doillon Lou Doillon ... Herself
Françoise Dorléac ... Herself (archive footage)
Sara Forestier ... Herself
Charlotte Gainsbourg ... Herself


Interviews with French movie stars - starting with Bardot, Moreau, and Deneuve - are interspersed with clips from their films, advertisements featuring the women, and documentary footage as they attend film festivals and commercial events. These women discuss their beauty and sense of self, being nude in a film, what it may mean to be French, their loss of privacy, and other pitfalls and benefits of success. There is also an extensive look at the use Couture makes of these stars. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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UK | France


French | English

Release Date:

1 June 2005 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Franska skönheter See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

ZETA Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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User Reviews

Superficial, lackluster
4 August 2007 | by ville-5See all my reviews

Despite the SHAMELESS viral marketing here in IMDb I didn't find this documentary particularly interesting. The 'French Beauty' as a concept brings images of Bardot et al. to my mind, and France has had a long line of actresses who are easy on the eyes and some of them have even had the ability to act on the silver screen.

"French Beauty" aims to portray the beautiful French actresses yet it doesn't even mention Emmanuelle Seigner, Anouk Aimee, Julie Delpy, Virginie Ledoyen or the ageless Isabelle Adjani??? Only a few are actually interviewed but it is always interesting to see famous actors/actresses as themselves and whether they turn out to be anything you have come to expect from their performances in films. Tautou and Deneuve give some insightful comments into the subject at hand and the interviewees come up as genuine persons.

Fanny Ardant (for example) is in her fifties yet I thought she looked at most 30 and smashing when she appeared in Callas Forever. Unfortunately she's one of the many people NOT interviewed and she is featured extremely briefly.

What I really disliked in the documentary was how it pushed some no-name forgettable girl-woman in her early 20's as "the next beauty in French cinema." The docu makers really tried to sound authoritative when they declared that but it is a hollow and bogus statement. A sub-plot in this documentary follows a somewhat pouty self-indulgent girl who seeks her break in the movies. It doesn't come in the film and so far (August 2007) it hasn't come unless you count French B-movies as a break in the same league as all the other ladies featured in this doc. The whole segment, edited into short clips between all other beauties, made me actually think whether the whole documentary was made to just support her ailing career.

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