French actress Juliette Binoche, who last starred in Claire Denis’ “Bright Sunshine In,” which won a prize at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight and earned rave reviews, is set to receive the honorary Dragon Award at the Göteborg Film Festival.
Aside from receiving the award, Binoche will hold a master class and will take part in the festival’s celebration of Ingmar Bergman by selecting “Scenes From a Marriage” for a special retrospective.
Among the 70 films in which she starred, Binoche delivered critically acclaimed performances in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” “The English Patient,” “Three Colors: Blue” and “The Lovers on the Bridge.” Binoche is coming off a strong year, with her performance in “Bright Sunshine In” applauded by critics worldwide. She was nominated for a European Film Award and is vying for a Lumieres Award (France’s equivalent to the Golden Globes). She is also expected to be nominated for a Cesar Award.
“First I want to thank Göteborg Film Festival for this honorary award. I take it as a wink, a tap on the shoulder or even a hug! I almost want to answer that I hope it doesn’t mean anything too serious!” said Binoche.
“I feel very lucky doing what I’m doing, I still have the same passion, still have a lot to learn. The joy I’m sharing on the sets are gold to me! Being an actor is a work of service. The key, for me, is to do it with full commitment.”
Jonas Holmberg, the artistic director of the Göteborg Film Festival, described Binoche “as one of the most influential actors of our time” and a “versatile actor who breathes life into her characters across a wide spectrum of genres, from drama to comedy to tragedy.”
Holmberg said that “Binoche has a unique talent for invoking deeply felt passion and sorrow with the smallest of gestures, and can be found exploring the full poetic range of melancholy romance in a number of unforgettable films.”
This year, the Göteborg Film Festival will host a special focus to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Ingmar Bergman’s birth. The program will feature several screenings, talks and events, including a retrospective of Bergman’s films selected by international filmmakers and talent.
Binoche, who will present “Scenes From a Marriage” during the retrospective, said she has always been inspired by the “intelligence, sensitivity and truthfulness that are expressed in that film.”
“It seems that Bergman was able expose, through his writing, the dark and light sides of his being. “Humor makes you bear the intolerable, and shows that life is not a straight line, but…contradictory, glorious, wicked, funny, twisted, full [of] different roads,” said Binoche, who also praised the performances of Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson.