Style Inspiration: French Film Icon Anouk Aimée

In the Arts | Style Inspiration: French Film Icon Anouk Aimée
Vogue Paris

The first movie I saw Anouk Aimée in was A Man and a Woman (Un homme et une femme, 1996) written and directed by Claude Lelouch and was moved by her beauty, that is both sophisticated and mysterious in some way. Some of her other unforgettable movie roles were as Maddalena in La Dolce Vita (1960) and Luisa Anselmi in 8 1/2 (1963), both by Frederico Fellini. I also loved her as Anne in André Delvaux’s Un soir, un train (One Night… a Train, 1968), and as Barbara Spaggiari in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man (1981).

Anouk Aimée was born Françoise Sorya on April 27, 1932 in Paris to actor parents. Aimée studied acting and ballet in Paris, London and Marseilles, training in dance at the famous Bauer-Therond school. Her career can be roughly divided into three phases: the early arthouse avant-garde phase of the 1950s and 1960s saw the actress defined as a new kind of modern heroine; a period of international stardom followed, initiated by an Academy Award nomination and Best Foreign Film award, as well as a Golden Globe for Un Homme et une femme and marked by work with many of world’s most talented directors; and the final phase of the committed woman, still beautiful but less concerned with screen presence than with using her position and her fame to make a difference in the world. (Source)

An excerpt from The Guardian regarding her final years as an actress:

Hollywood, though, was not to be. And if the cinema chose her, she concedes finally, it could possibly have been a little bit kinder to her. But then she is “hopeless at selling myself, always have been. I can do it for others, but not for me.” She hopes there may be “two or three nice parts” still left to her. “I’m not used up, not yet. I still have things to say. Although in fact the secret – it was Fellini who taught me this – is that the most important thing of all is to listen. Just listen, to what the other characters say. And don’t take it too seriously. So.” She smiles. “No regrets.”

In the Arts | Style Inspiration: French Film Icon Anouk Aimée
Anouk Aimée and Yves Montand / via Iconic Images