'I Don't Need a Man to Tell Me How I Should Behave'

By Billen, Andrew | The Evening Standard (London, England), February 28, 2001 | Go to article overview

'I Don't Need a Man to Tell Me How I Should Behave'


Billen, Andrew, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: ANDREW BILLEN

The most beautiful woman in movies has never discussed her private life. Until now.

Today the phlegm-swallowing, leg-scratching, dirty-laughing Juliette Binoche tells all

MY only objection to Juliette Binoche's new movie, I say, is that it tells people exactly what they want to hear. Choco-lat is the story of an attractive, sexually up-for-it single mother -Binoche - who opens a chocolate shop in puritanical middle France.

Her enemy, the devout, censorious Comte (and here the actors who speak 'Allo 'Allo franglais must watch their pronunciation), is eventually humiliated and reformed, proving the film's argument that chocolate - ie, sex - is good and abstinence is bad.

But, I say to her, the truth about chocolate is that it makes you fat and it makes you spotty. I bet, I say, looking at her slender frame, which after two children and 36 years still tapers to a slim neck and perfect porcelain skin, she hardly eats any herself.

"No, I do have chocolate. I eat it almost every day," she protests.

"It's full of magnesium. Real chocolate, that is, not that chocolate now allowed in Europe which is full of grease and sugar and vegetable oil.

My dietitian, she recommends hot chocolate for me every morning.

Skimmed milk, with a spoon of cocoa powder and a spoon of honey."

So what tastes good can do you good, I say, as if I have suddenly grasped the movie's moral. "Absolutely. I believe that. Why is it in order to lose weight you have to suffer and not have pleasure? I don't like this idea. I think it's wrong."

Now she is telling us what we want to hear, which makes a change: most journalists would call her a tough interview. Her private life is off limits and she defends it like a tigress on legal aid. Two years ago she won damages and a front-page apology from the French magazine Voici for reporting that she had given the boot to her "joli fianc"" Olivier Martinez, her co-star in Horseman on the Roof, her complaint being not so much that this was inaccurate but that it was intrusive. Over here, meanwhile, she delivers quotes dense with Gallic difficulty. "I am a kind of stewardess.

The plane is the play," she will say, or "Giving birth is like a vase of beautiful flowers." Male interviewers tend to make allowances for cultural and linguistic misunderstanding. The women - funny this - tend not to.

My theory is that her obscurantism is a revenge for the drooling nonsense recited about her by men, male directors especially.

Andr" T"chin", who got her to disrobe in an early film, Rendezvous, once purred that her feet were "in the mud and her head in the stars". Krzysztof Kieslowski, who persuaded her to shed again in Three Colours Blue, thought her the "custodian of some deep, dark secret". Any number of male critics have elaborated on these themes, although, in his dictionary of film biography, David Thomson simply asks: "Is she the most beautiful woman in cinema?" Only occasionally does

someone get a grip, like The Guardian's reviewer in 1988 who assessed that her performance in The Unbearable Lightness of Being required "very little speaking, a lot of sulky staring and an incredible amount of frenzied bonking".

Maybe it is because she is steeling herself for the Oscar-nomination announcement later today, or because her baby, Hanna, granted her only four hours' sleep last night, but this morning, I am glad to say, Binoche hardly troubles to be dark, mysterious or evasive at all. Dressed in a chic trouser suit with a rollneck jumper that almost conceals the mole on her swanlike, she sits upright on her sofa in Claridge's, and looks me in the eye - beautiful (obviously) but also straightforward, warm and, I think, wise to herself.

She is explaining how she started acting to get the attention of her parents. She felt her father, Jean-Marie Binoche, a theatre director, did not "see" her, perhaps because she was the second of his daughters. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

'I Don't Need a Man to Tell Me How I Should Behave'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.