labe- Summer Under The Stars with Catherine Deneuve - Oh So Geeky

Summer Under The Stars with Catherine Deneuve

Please forgive my lack of foreign film knowledge. Because I'd only heard of Catherine Deneuve - star of popular psychological thriller Repulsion - but didn't have the inclination to watch any of her films.

I'm not even quite sure I knew who she was until I realized I may have seen her in an obnoxious episode of Nip/Tuck, which was promptly blacked out of my mind....as every episode of Nip/Tuck inevitably was. Obviously, I never really knew what to make of her.

Selecting her as a pick for my series to celebrate TCM's Summer Under the Stars programming, I still don't know what to make of her but in a much more positive way.

Let's please state the obvious that Catherine is plain gorgeous with her wide eyes, sweetly angelic face, and blond locks. At a mere first glance it's easy to see her as a baby face of the 60s and 70s, and once your eyes are set on her chic wardrobe throughout her filmography, it's even more understandable why she is a recognized icon of Hollywood.

It's easy to point out if an actress is just a pretty face or not. Deneuve can easily fall into the category of the blond type, but I discourage anyone from doing so.

Tuning into her films of the day on TCM, it's hard for me to describe what enormous talent she is. Still kicking it now in films and television, her career has last decades. And she is still as gracious as ever. I went with with Sauvage, Le (The Savage) and The Last Metro.

Sauvage, Le is an off beat purely rumpus adventure. A young woman tries to escape her wildly passionate (read: quite abusive - in today's world) Venezuelan fiance with a stranger on his island.

One of my newly discovered and favorite flicks of all-time, Sauvage, Le verges on a silly romantic escapade. From the opening of the film at a celebration of her soon-to-be marriage, Deneuve is lost in an endless line of her partner's friends and family members to gret. Within the first few moments, we see her as altogether confused, tired, and thinking of a Plan B.

Deneuve in the middle of the night leaves her fiance, and attaches herself to an apartment acquaintance who gets sucked into helping her ditch her past life. The chase is on with fun and wild antics with a destructive car race, on the runway of an airport, and to a stranded island.

Throughout the film, I was just struck by how truly humorous, feisty, and bold Deneuve was. Similar to her character's relationship with her fiance, Deneuve relentlessly latches herself onto a loner, just as hot tempered partner in escapism (Martin). One minute he's chasing her around his house, the next she's daring him to declare some semblance of love to her. They made up a wonderfully funny yet romantic duo. Who ultimately is the "savage" is completely up to you.

With The Last Metro again I was surprised by the Deneuve's transformation. Her changes in characters are not blindly obvious. She seems to slip in and through different period pieces, genres, and characters with wondrous and slick chameleon skill.

During the Nazi Occupation, a woman hides her Jewish husband in the theater they run. As she struggles to keep his presence concealed, she finds herself falling in love with the leading man she is starring opposite of in their latest play.

Shining from underneath the 1940s garb, balancing between maintaining control and flitting confusion, Deneuve finds a way to be vibrant throughout the film despite it's calm storybuilding. Almost unrecognizable in this film compared to Sauvage, Le  Deneuve is quietly yet stunningly demure.

The film overall though a bit slow and not quite finding its feet, won 10 Ceasar awards when it was released including Best Actress for Catherine Deneuve. Like her performance in the former flick, and this one, she has such an unyielding yet unexpected quite presence, it's something to behold repeatedly.

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