The 5 best Juliette Binoche movies span more than 14 years and several genres. Binoche, who is French, isn’t the most well-known actress in America, which is a shame because she’s proven herself to be just as talented as any big name celeb. The movies below are the best representatives of her work, and will convince you that she is a star in her own right.
- “Paris, je t’aime” (2006) No one has a leading role in “Paris, je t’aime” since it is a collection of eighteen short vignettes from twenty different directors that focuses on love against the backdrop of Paris, France. Juliette Binoche headlines the segment called “Place des Victoires”, written and directed by Japanese filmmaker Nobuhiro Suwa. In it, Binoche is Suzanne, a grieving mother lamenting the death of her young son. Comfort arrives in the form of a magical cowboy (yes, you read that right). It’s not as corny as it sounds, as Suzanne and the cowboy (Willem Dafoe) develop a sweet, heartstring-tugging romance that is a match made in heaven (or Paris, which some would tell you is the same place).
- “Chocolat” (2000) Ever think the love of money is the root of all evil? Think again! The love of sweets is the temptress of the hour in “Chocolat”, a Juliette Binoche movie about Vianne (played by Binoche) who moves into a quiet French town that also happens to be very, very Catholic. She sets up her confectionary shop at the start of Lent and all hell breaks loose. Okay, not hell, this isn’t a horror movie, but the townspeople’s repressed desires barge to the surface as Vianne tailors delicious chocolate treats to each individual’s liking despite the fierce opposition she faces by some very powerful figures. Nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Binoche.
- “Three Colors Trilogy: Blue” (1993) The first in the trilogy of French films by filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski, “Blue” is about Julie Vignon, played by Juliette Binoche, and the dramatic turns her life takes after a devastating car crash kills her husband and only child. The Three Colors trilogy is based on the colors of the French flag and the symbolism behind them. In the case of “Blue”, the theme is liberty, highlighting the steps Julie Vignon takes in order to reclaim her life and not be a slave to her past.
- “Dan in Real Life” (2007) One of the funniest and most heartwarming Juliette Binoche movie, Binoche stars as Marie, a funny, beautiful French woman who falls for widower Dan (Steve Carell) after meeting him in a bookstore while he’s on vacation with his family. Problem is, Marie is dating Dan’s younger brother Mitch (Dane Cook). The even bigger problem is that Dan and Marie don’t learn about their connection until later that same day when the family gets together. Those wacky French! Dan hasn’t been attracted to a woman like this since his departed wife, and spends the rest of the movie trying to hide his true feelings while dealing with a growing list of hilarious family troubles.
- “The English Patient” (1996) The movie that introduced her to American filmgoers, “The English Patient” is also the biggest Juliette Binoche movie yet. She stars as Hana, a Canadian nurse in World War II Italy caring for a pilot who was been severely burned when his plane crashed. He’s known only as the English Patient due to his accent, and over time Hana learns the story of how the Patient had an affair with his best friend’s wife while mapping terrain in North Africa. The affair affects the Patient adversely, leading him to abandon his mission and principles. Eventually, an intelligence officer catches up with the Patient and Hana and threatens to unload his well-kept secrets. “The English Patient” won nine Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Binoche.