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Isabelle Adjani co-produces and stars in this sensual and impassioned biopic, which recounts the life of Camille Claudel and her tumultuous relationship with sculptor Auguste Rodin (Gérard Depardieu). It was also Adjani who hired Bruno Nuytten (with whom she shares a son) as director of the multi-awarded film, which received five César including Best film in 1989.
Set at the beginning of the 1880s, the film begins with the talented and enthusiastic Camille hired as Rodin’s assistant. They quickly become enamoured with one another and embark on a passionate affair. As Rodin’s mistress, Camille sacrifices her own work to contribute to his sculptures, which she imbues with the anguish she feels from the crushing societal constraints imposed on her as a female artist. Alone and longing for the recognition she deserves, Camille gradually spirals into a state of madness.
Earning Adjani a nomination for Best Actress at the Academy Awards, this is not a film about sculpture so much as one about an ambitious woman who is driven into insanity, imprisoned by her circumstances. As expected, Adjani delivers a powerful performance.
César Awards – French film industry awards (France, 1989)
– César Award for Best Film
– César Award for Best Actress: Isabelle Adjani
– César Award for Best Cinematography: Pierre Lhomme
– César Award for Best Costume Design: Dominique Borg
Berlin International Film Festival (Germany, 1989)
– Silver Bear for Best Actress: Isabelle Adjani
Sunday 3rd November
Gérard Depardieu, Isabelle Adjani, Laurent Grévill, Alain Cuny, Madeleine Robinson
French with English Subtitles
Palace Norton St, Astor Theatre