Jean-Louis Trintignant: his six cult roles

VIDEO. Brigitte Bardot, Anouk Aimée, Emmanuelle Riva… In sixty years of career, Trintignant has multiplied love stories, chaining cult roles. I subscribe for 1€ the 1st month

Jean-Louis Trintignant leaves an indelible mark on the French cinematographic landscape. It all started in 1956. Under the direction of Roger Vadim, Trintignant married Brigitte Bardot in And God… created woman. The connection of the two actors will go beyond fiction and will feed the press people, to the point of ruining the marriage Vadim-Bardot. This did not prevent the director from enlisting Trintignant for two other films: in 1959, in Dangerous Liaisons 1960, and in 1963 in A castle in Sweden. A few months earlier, Trintignant played a reserved young student manipulated by a playboy in Dino Risi's Il Sorpasso (The Fanfaron).

In the 1960s, two other major films from his repertoire would follow. First in 1966, ten years after Vadim, it was Lelouch who hired him, in A Man and a Woman. Palme d'or and Oscar for best foreign film in his pocket, Lelouch (finally) sees his career take off thanks to the love story embodied by the couple Anouk Aimée-Jean-Louis Trintignant, and leaves a film whose music by Francis Lai has become a cult. Three years later, Costa-Gavras made him an incorruptible examining magistrate in charge of shedding light on a state affair in Z, alongside Yves Montand.

Gradual withdrawal from cinema

The 1970s and 1980s were just as successful, Trintignant continued to shoot with the greatest: Bertolucci, Deray, Labro, Berri, Scola, Truffaut, Deville… In the 1990s, his appearances became rare. His cantankerous and solitary characters reflect the life he chooses: retired to the heart of his vineyards, in the Gard.

While he had announced that he would no longer be filming, Trintignant returned for a few favorite films in the 2000s. He notably played for his son-in-law Samuel Benchetrit, in Janis and John. But it was Michael Haneke who offered Jean-Louis Trintignant his last roles. In Happy End, his last film, in 2017. But, above all, in Amour, in 2013, alongside Emmanuelle Riva, which tackles the subject of elderly couples, addiction and the end of life. A poignant role which offered Trintignant the César for best actor, after four unsuccessful nominations.

Despite this frenetic pace of filming, Jean-Louis Trintignant had also offered himself a few theatrical intermissions: he notably interpreted Hamlet in twice, a piece that kept a privileged place in his artistic career. It is moreover to the reading of great texts that he has devoted himself in recent years, after having gradually withdrawn from the cinema. Passionate about motorsport, he was also a member of the Star Racing Team, a stable in which celebrities such as Claude Brasseur, Guy Marchand and Johnny Hallyday rubbed shoulders.

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