Even as actresses become increasingly marginalized by Hollywood, French cinema is witnessing an explosion of female talent - a Golden Age unlike anything the world has seen since the days of Stanwyck, Hepburn, Davis, and Garbo. In France, the joy of acting is alive and well. Scores of French actresses are doing the best work of their lives in movies tailored to their star images and unique personalities. Yet virtually no one this side of the Atlantic even knows about them. Viewers who feel shortchanged by Hollywood will be thrilled to discover The Beauty of the Real.
This book showcases a range of contemporary French actresses to an audience that will know how to appreciate them - an American public hungry for the exact qualities that these women represent. To spend time with them, to admire their flashing intelligence and fearless willingness to depict life as it is lived, gives us what we're looking for in movies but so rarely find: insights into womanhood, meditations on the dark and light aspect's of life's journey, revelations and explorations that move viewers to reflect on their own lives. The stories they bring to the screen leave us feeling renewed and excited about movies again.
Based on one-on-one interviews and the viewing of numerous films, Mick LaSalle has put together a fascinating profile of recent generations of French film stars and an overview of their best work. These women's insights and words illuminate his book, which will answer once and for all the two questions Americans most often have about women and the movies: Where did all the great actresses go? And how can I see their movies?
I really enjoyed this book. Its beautifully written and I enjoyed the way this book not only stuck with cinematic examples but dove into French culture including literature and other art forms.
My only issue is the clear bias that shows up within the book. I picked this book to read about French cinema, not to read about what other cinema styles and choices should be according to this author.
I'm sure over time there will be (and this is slowly happening now) a combining of styles from all countries. We each as individuals will still have our preferences and theres no need to bash what is not approved according to our decision.
Overall, I really appreciated the way this was written and will probably listen to it again in the future.