Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cousin, cousine (1975)

Two cousins by marriage meet at a wedding banquet. Over time, a close friendship develops between them, but their spouses begin to think that they are more than just friends. [imdb]

Nominated for 3 Oscars (as a 1976 film):

Best Actress: Marie-Christine Barrault
Best Original Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film: France

I dare to say that this is one of the most shocking/unexpected Best Actress nominations EVER. It wouldn't have happened today and that's exactly why the 70s were so great. Who saw it coming? An unknown French actress in a French movie, not a masterpiece but a romantic comedy, directed by an unknown and with a very subtle non-dramatic performance, not even nominated for the Cesar?
With so many legendary French actresses never nominated (Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, etc.), she managed to get it. I had to see it for myself: and to my surprise there is NOTHING flashy, Oscar-baity, big Oscar scene about this performance. It's just a sweet romantic role, not even a comedy one. So I still cannot explain the nomination. Other than that: I enjoyed the film. It's very light, but I smiled and even laughed a couple of times. It's not meant to be a comedy in an obvious way, but it's well directed and there's a lot of subtle humor. So it was an enjoyable view, even though I never looked at it like as a very smart film.
My rating for the film: 7.5/10. Were you ever tempted to see it just because Marie-Christine was up against Sissy Spacek (Carrie), Faye Dunaway (Network) and Liv Ullmann (Face to Face)? PS: yes, I know; it's not easy to find.


  1. Is it the LEAST baity nominated performance you've seen? Was it deserved? Back when I was really into French I wanted to see this, but as you said it's not easy to find. 7.5 is a pretty good rating though.

  2. I've actually haven't asked myself that. But the answer might be Yes. There are no tears, there's no singing, there's no big comedy talent, she's not a well-known actress (not even in France) + all those factors I've mentioned before... She IS kinda charismatic, so it's not a bad performance. And I guess the character is mostly likeable. But even so: nothing too special about it.