Throughout her career, Deneuve has worked with some of Europe’s greatest directors, such as Luis Buñuel, Francois Truffaut, Manoel De Oliveira, Roman Polanski and Lars von Trier, to name a few.
Deneuve’s long rapport with the Lido harks back to 1967, when Buñuel’s “Belle de Jour” — in which she played a bourgeoise Paris housewife who seeks erotic liberation through part-time work in a brothel — won the Golden Lion. Deneuve then won the Venice Volpi Cup for best actress for her role in Nicole Garcia’s “Place Vendôme” in 1998, and presided over the fest’s jury in 2006.
“It is a joy to receive this prestigious award at the Venice Film Festival, which I love and have known for a long time, ever since Luis Buñuel’s ‘Belle de Jour’ received the Golden Lion,” said the 78-year-old actor in a statement.
“It is also an honor to be chosen for this homage because the Mostra [as the Venice fest is known in Italy] has welcomed me so often for so many films. Thank you. With friendship,” she added.
Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera in the statement described Deneuve as “an indisputable talent” whose skills and extraordinary and refined beauty have made her “the very face of French cinema; a timeless diva; a true icon of the big screen,” he said.
“From being one of the most quintessential figures of the Nouvelle Vague and representing an idea of style that is identified with fashion from beyond the Alps, Catherine Deneuve has gone on to embody the essence of the universally recognized diva, establishing herself among the greatest acting talents in the history of cinema,” Barbera added.
The 79th edition of Venice will run Aug. 31-Sept. 10.