Kristen Scott Thomas is one of the finest British actresses of her generation who has enjoyed success in mainstream projects as well as small and more art-house movies.
In recent years she has shined in a series of French movies giving off an air of Parisian class, no doubt a result of her years of dedication to French Cinema.
Looking Fore Hortense is released on DVD today and we take a look at some of Kristin’s best French-speaking parts, where it might be hard to believe that she’s not speaking her native tongue!
- Looking for Hortense (2012)
In Looking for Hortense, Kristin Scott Thomas plays Iva, an avant-garde stage director living with her partner and son. With a typically scene-stealing performance, Thomas impresses with her impeccable French as her character is tempted into an affair with her handsome leading man.
Meanwhile, Iva’s relationship with her Professor husband, Damien Hauer (Jean-Pierre Bacri) is deteriorating as his eyes begin to wander as well. Funny, smart and distinctly French; Looking for Hortense is a must-see, and you’ll probably begin to wonder whether Kristin Scott Thomas is really French after all!
- I’ve Loved You So Long / Il y a longtemps que je t’aime (2008)
Released from prison after 15 years, Juliette (Thomas) is welcomed by her estranged sister Léa and invited to live with her family. With the reasons for Juliette’s imprisonment unknown until the film’s final moments, the viewer can only speculate on her crime based on the gossiping whispers and glares of suspicion from the townsfolk.
Thomas is brilliant as the emotionally wounded Juliette – while mysterious and cold, she still manages to elicit deep sympathy from the audience, culminating in a heartbreaking finale.
- Love Crime / Crime d’amour (2010)
In this taut Parisian thriller, Kristin Scott Thomas excels as the menacing executive Christine. Cold and manipulative, Christine torments her young assistant Isabelle to near breaking point. However, she underestimates her apprentice’s ability to turn her tricks against her, leading to an all out war.
Sadly, Love Crime was director Alain Corneau’s final film as he lost his battle with cancer shortly before the film’s release. English-speaking audiences were introduced to the story with Brian de Palma’s remake Passion in 2012 starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace.
- Leaving / Partir (2009)
Another to file under the ‘sexually-transgressive dramas’ in the Kristin Scott Thomas canon is Catherine Corsini’s 2009 effort, ‘Leaving’. Here, Thomas plays Suzanne – a married mother of two who is growing bored of her comfortable yet idle life.
That is until she meets Spanish builder Ivan (Sergi López) and the two begin a passionate affair. Unsurprisingly, Thomas pulls out all the stops with a stunning performance capable of turning even her biggest detractors into fans.
- In The House / Dans la maison (2012)
In François Ozon’s brilliant dark comedy In The House, Kristin Scott Thomas plays Jeanne, an art gallery manager and the wife of a disillusioned high school teacher seeking inspiration from his students.
The film deals with the madness associated with creativity, with Jeanne acting as a reality check to her husband’s cerebral wanderings.
Thomas shines in a typically brilliant performance – watch out for Jeanne’s confrontation of her husband over what she suspects may be his changing sexual orientation.
Looking For Hortense is out on DVD now.
Tagged in Kristin Scott Thomas