(Washington Post) – Stephane Audran, the coldly elegant and astutely enigmatic French actress who was acclaimed for performances in the Oscar-winning films Babette & # 39; s Feast and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, as well as in many dramas of her husband, director Claude Chabrol, died on Tuesday (March 27). She was 85 years old.
His family announced the death, according to reports from the French media, but did not disclose more information.
His person on the screen was that of a sophisticated bright, almost mannequin, a beauty swan with high cheekbones that he craves, horned and destroyed with a Gallic shrug. She was the elegant muse of fire and ice for a stylized New Wave filmmaker like Chabrol, who included her in threatening dramas with connotations of class consciousness breeding sexual violence.
She was one of the unfortunate young Parisian sellers in Les Bonnes Femmes (The Good Girls, 1960), a rich and stormy lesbian from Saint-Tropez in the center of a bisexual menage a trois in Les Biches (The Does, 1968) , a repressed teacher courted by a meat cutter and serial killer in Le Boucher (The Butcher, 1970), and an unfaithful spouse who gains new respect for her fetishist spouse after she kills her lover at La Femme Infidele (La Femme Infidele). unfaithful wife, 1969).
The last one was a showcase for Audran droll minimalism. "She controls a sense of social parody so sustained that her simple 'Bonjour' becomes a great critique of French language and civilization," noted New York Times film critic Roger Greenspun.
In Violette Noziere (1978) by Chabrol, Audran played against type, as the working-class mother of a famous Parisian teenage killer of the 1930s (Isabelle Huppert). Audran won a César Award, the French equivalent of the Oscar, for his supporting performance.
Other directors took great advantage of its ethereal appeal, which made it ideal for papers that removed the varnish of civilized behavior. In Luis Buñuel's surreal masterpiece The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), she was the embodiment of the educated society that, at one point, throws her husband into a bush for a lunch before sitting down to a refined lunch .
In the director Gabriel Axel & # 39; s Babette & # 39; s Feast (1987), Audran portrayed a Parisian political refugee in the late nineteenth century seeking asylum in a coastal city of Denmark and becomes a housekeeper of two spinster sisters. Her inscrutable personality and fierce art in the kitchen is finally revealed through the sensual foods she prepares. It was based on a short story by Isak Dinesen and, like Discreet Charm, won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
"He talks about choices in life, and it should be interesting for anyone who wants to express themselves but can not because of what they have to do to survive," Audran told the Chicago Sun Times. "And it's about the deep needs of life, which are both material and spiritual, and when you forget one or the other, you may feel that something big is missing."
Audran appeared in several films in English, including as the mother of Jean-Claude Van Damme in the action movie Maximum Risk (1996). He also played the Italian mistress of Lord Marchmain by Laurence Olivier in the British television miniseries Brideshead Revisited (1981).
Colette Suzanne Jeannine Dacheville was born in Versailles, France, on November 8, 1932. She was six years old when her father, a doctor, died, and she was a sickly girl whose overprotective mother did not want to see her expressive acting ambitions. A premature marriage with the classmate of the acting school Jean-Louis Trintignant ended in divorce.
Audran had small roles before getting more attention as a seductress in a black dress in Les Cousins de Chabrol (1959), a film that placed him in the New Wave pantheon with directors like Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut and Eric Rohmer. He soon became his muse, and in 1964 his wife, and appeared in almost all his films for the next two decades.
Among them were The Third Lover (1962), The Champagne Murders (1967) and Wedding In Blood (1973)), most of which were variations on Chabrol's preoccupation with the middle class, with a wild touch.
She and Chabrol had a son, actor, director and screenwriter Thomas Chabrol. A complete list of survivors could not be confirmed immediately.
Audran and Chabrol divorced in 1980 – later said that "I found myself more and more interested in her as an actress than as a wife" – and she remained an important support player in several of her films, especially as an alcoholic in Betty (1992).