Catherine Deneuve is a legendary French actress who has made a significant mark in the world of cinema.
With a career spanning over six decades, Deneuve has become an icon of French cinema and has worked with renowned directors and actors, earning critical acclaim and a loyal following of fans.
Her performances are known for their elegance, beauty, and versatility, and she has portrayed a wide range of characters in various genres, from drama to romance to comedy and more.
Best Catherine Deneuve Movies
We’ll highlight some of the best Catherine Deneuve movies that showcase her exceptional talent and contributions to the world of cinema.
From classic French films to international productions, Catherine Deneuve’s movies have left an indelible mark on the history of cinema and continue to captivate audiences around the world.
1. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” is a French musical film released in 1964, directed by Jacques Demy and starring Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo.
The film is known for its unique style – all of the dialogue is sung rather than spoken – and its vibrant, pastel-colored visuals.
The film tells the story of Geneviève (Deneuve), a young woman in Cherbourg, France, who falls in love with a mechanic named Guy (Castelnuovo).
However, their romance is cut short when Guy is drafted to serve in the Algerian War. Over the course of several years, Geneviève and Guy each move on with their lives, but their love for each other remains a constant presence.
“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, praised for its innovative style and emotional depth.
The film won the Palme d’Or at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival and was later nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film.
With its lush visuals and memorable score, “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” remains a beloved classic of French cinema and a must-see for fans of musicals and romance.
2. Repulsion (1965)
“Repulsion” is a psychological horror film directed by Roman Polanski and released in 1965. The film tells the story of a young Belgian woman named Carol, played by Catherine Deneuve.
Who begins to experience increasingly disturbing and hallucinatory visions and delusions while staying in her sister’s apartment in London.
As Carol’s mental state deteriorates, she becomes increasingly isolated and paranoid, and her behavior becomes increasingly erratic and violent.
The film explores themes of mental illness, sexuality, and violence, and is known for its surreal imagery and unsettling atmosphere.
“Repulsion” was praised for its innovative use of sound and camera work, as well as Deneuve’s haunting performance as the troubled protagonist.
The film is considered a classic of the horror genre and is often cited as a landmark in psychological horror filmmaking.
3. A Matter of Resistance (1966)
A Matter of Resistance (La Vie de Château) is a 1966 French comedy film directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau. The film is based on the novel “The War of the Buttons” by Louis Pergaud and stars Catherine Deneuve and Philippe Noiret.
The film takes place in a small village in France during World War II, where the villagers are living under German occupation.
The story follows a group of villagers who decide to resist the Germans by stealing their wine, which they need for their troops.
The resistance effort leads to humorous and unexpected consequences, as the villagers try to outsmart the Germans and keep their secret operation hidden.
The film received positive reviews for its witty and charming humor, as well as its portrayal of the French resistance during the war.
The performances of Deneuve and Noiret were also praised for their chemistry and comedic timing. Overall, A Matter of Resistance is a lighthearted and entertaining film that offers a unique perspective on the challenges faced by those living under occupation during World War II.
4. Belle de Jour (1967)
“Belle de Jour” is a drama film released in 1967, directed by Luis Buñuel and starring Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, and Michel Piccoli.
The film tells the story of Séverine (played by Catherine Deneuve), a beautiful and wealthy young woman who is bored and unfulfilled in her sexless marriage.
In order to escape her mundane life, she begins secretly working as a prostitute during the day, using the alias “Belle de Jour.”
As Séverine becomes more immersed in her double life, she begins to experience dangerous and surreal fantasies, blurring the line between reality and imagination. The film explores themes of sexuality, power, and the subconscious mind.
“Belle de Jour” was a critical and commercial success, receiving widespread acclaim for its daring subject matter and Buñuel’s surrealist style.
The film won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
It is widely regarded as a classic of French cinema and a landmark in the exploration of female sexuality on screen.
5. Heartbeat (1968)
“Heartbeat” is a 1968 drama film directed by Michael Apted and starring Nick Nolte and Sissy Spacek in their film debuts.
The film is set in a small town in the American South during the 1950s and follows the story of a young drifter named Del (played by Nolte) who arrives in town and begins a romance with a local girl named Fay (played by Spacek).
As their relationship develops, Del becomes involved in a dangerous scheme with Fay’s older brother, which puts both him and Fay at risk. The film explores themes of love, loyalty, and the desperation of small-town life.
“Heartbeat” was well-received by critics and helped launch the careers of both Nolte and Spacek, who went on to become major stars in Hollywood.
The film was notable for its realistic portrayal of Southern life and its powerful performances, particularly by Spacek, who received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Although “Heartbeat” did not achieve significant commercial success at the time of its release, it has since gained a cult following and is regarded as a classic of 1970s cinema. The film’s themes of disillusionment and longing for connection continue to resonate with audiences today.
6. Mississippi Mermaid (1969)
“Mississippi Mermaid” is a French romantic drama film released in 1969, directed by François Truffaut and based on the novel “Waltz into Darkness” by Cornell Woolrich. The film stars Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Paul Belmondo in the lead roles.
The film follows the story of Louis Mahé (played by Jean-Paul Belmondo), a wealthy plantation owner on the island of Réunion, who has corresponded with a woman named Julie Roussel (played by Catherine Deneuve) through a series of letters.
They have never met in person, but Louis falls deeply in love with Julie based on their written exchanges. When Julie arrives on the island, however, Louis is shocked to discover that she looks nothing like he had imagined.
Julie is not the woman he thought she was, and their relationship takes unexpected turns as secrets and deceptions come to light.
As Louis tries to uncover the truth about Julie’s identity, their relationship becomes increasingly complicated, filled with love, passion, suspicion, and betrayal.
The film explores themes of love, desire, and the nature of human relationships, as well as the blurred lines between reality and illusion.
“Mississippi Mermaid” is known for its captivating performances by Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Paul Belmondo, as well as François Truffaut’s masterful direction and storytelling.
The film’s lush tropical setting and beautiful cinematography add to its visual appeal. It has been praised for its unique and unconventional narrative structure, as well as its exploration of the complexities of human emotions and relationships.
“Mississippi Mermaid” is considered a classic of French cinema and is regarded as one of Truffaut’s finest works.
7. Tristana (1970)
“Tristana” is a critically acclaimed Spanish-French film directed by Luis Buñuel, released in 1970. It stars Catherine Deneuve in the title role of Tristana, a young woman who becomes embroiled in a complex relationship with an older man, played by Fernando Rey.
Here are some reasons why “Tristana” is considered one of the best Catherine Deneuve movies:
Catherine Deneuve’s Captivating Performance: In “Tristana,” Catherine Deneuve delivers a mesmerizing performance as the titular character.
She portrays Tristana as a young woman who undergoes a journey of self-discovery and transformation, navigating her relationships with both her guardian and a young artist, played by Franco Nero.
Deneuve’s portrayal of Tristana is layered, complex, and emotionally resonant, capturing the character’s inner conflicts and desires with grace and depth. Her performance is a testament to her acting prowess and solidifies her status as one of the finest actresses of her generation.
Masterful Direction by Luis Buñuel: “Tristana” is directed by the renowned Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel, known for his surrealist and provocative style.
Buñuel’s unique vision and artistic sensibilities are on full display in “Tristana,” as he explores themes of sexuality, power dynamics, and societal norms with his signature blend of satire and subversion.
His direction adds depth and complexity to the story, creating a thought-provoking and visually stunning film that has been hailed as one of his masterpieces.
Thoughtful Exploration of Complex Themes: “Tristana” delves into a range of complex themes, including gender roles, morality, and the complexities of human relationships.
The film offers a thought-provoking examination of societal norms and expectations placed upon women, as Tristana struggles to assert her independence and navigate the limitations placed upon her by the male-dominated society of the time.
The film also explores the dynamics of power and control in relationships, as Tristana’s relationships with her guardian and the young artist evolve and shift over time.
“Tristana” presents a nuanced and introspective look at these themes, inviting viewers to reflect on the complexities of human nature and societal expectations.
“Tristana” is a visually captivating and thematically rich film that showcases Catherine Deneuve’s exceptional talent and the masterful direction of Luis Buñuel.
With its thought-provoking exploration of complex themes and Deneuve’s compelling performance, “Tristana” is considered one of the best Catherine Deneuve movies and a standout in the history of cinema.
8. A Cop (1972)
“A Cop” (French title: “Un Flic”) is a crime thriller film released in 1972, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville and starring Alain Delon, Catherine Deneuve, and Richard Crenna.
The film tells the story of a police detective named Edouard Coleman (Delon), who is tasked with investigating a series of daring heists in Paris.
As Coleman delves deeper into the case, he becomes increasingly entangled with the criminals he is pursuing, including his longtime friend Simon (Crenna) and the enigmatic nightclub owner Cathy (Deneuve).
As the lines between law enforcement and criminality begin to blur, Coleman must make difficult choices about where his loyalties lie.
“A Cop” is known for its stylish visuals and atmospheric tone, typical of director Jean-Pierre Melville’s work. The film features tense heist sequences and a standout performance by Alain Delon as the conflicted detective at the center of the story.
Although “A Cop” was not a commercial success upon its initial release, it has since gained a cult following and is considered a classic of the French crime thriller genre.
The film’s exploration of the complex relationship between law enforcement and criminality, as well as its depiction of Parisian street life, continue to resonate with audiences today.
9. The Last Metro (1980)
“The Last Metro” is a drama film directed by François Truffaut and released in 1980.
The film is set in Paris during the German occupation of France in World War II and follows the staff and performers of a small theater as they navigate the challenges of working and living under Nazi rule.
The film stars Catherine Deneuve as Marion Steiner, the lead actress of the theater who must take over as director when her Jewish husband Lucas, played by Heinz Bennent, is forced to go into hiding.
Gérard Depardieu also stars as a young actor who joins the company and becomes involved in a romantic relationship with Marion.
“The Last Metro” was praised for its sensitive portrayal of life during wartime and its strong performances, particularly from Deneuve and Depardieu.
The film won ten César Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress for Deneuve. It is considered one of Truffaut’s most accomplished works and a classic of French cinema.
10. The Hunger (1983)
The Hunger is a 1983 horror film directed by Tony Scott and starring Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, and Susan Sarandon.
The film tells the story of a centuries-old vampire named Miriam (Deneuve) and her relationship with a mortal man named John (Bowie), as well as her attempts to find a new companion after John begins to rapidly age.
The film received mixed reviews upon its release, with some critics praising its stylish visuals and performances, while others criticized its convoluted plot and lack of coherence.
However, The Hunger has since gained a cult following and is now regarded as a landmark of 1980s horror cinema, with its visual style and exploration of sexual themes and vampire mythology influencing later works in the genre.
In particular, Deneuve’s portrayal of the elegant and seductive Miriam has been noted as a standout performance, as well as the film’s use of music and cinematography to create a dreamlike atmosphere.
Overall, The Hunger is a visually striking and unconventional horror film that offers a unique take on the vampire genre.
11. Scene of the Crime (1986)
“Scene of the Crime” is a crime drama film released in 1986, directed by André Téchiné and starring Catherine Deneuve, Wadeck Stanczak, and Danielle Darrieux.
The film tells the story of a Parisian police detective named Daniel (played by Wadeck Stanczak) who becomes involved in a complex investigation involving a wealthy woman named Lili (played by Catherine Deneuve) and her dysfunctional family.
When Lili’s husband is found dead, Daniel must navigate the complicated web of lies and secrets that surround the family in order to uncover the truth.
As the investigation unfolds, Daniel becomes increasingly drawn to Lili, leading to a dangerous and unexpected romance. The film explores themes of love, obsession, and the blurred lines between justice and desire.
“Scene of the Crime” received positive reviews for its intricate plot, strong performances, and moody atmosphere.
It was nominated for several awards, including a César Award for Best Supporting Actress for Danielle Darrieux’s performance. The film is regarded as one of Téchiné’s best works and a notable example of French crime cinema.
12. Indochine (1992)
“Indochine” is a French epic drama film released in 1992, directed by Régis Wargnier and starring Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Perez, and Linh Dan Pham.
The film is set in French Indochina (present-day Vietnam) during the 1930s and 1950s, and it spans several decades of Vietnamese history, from the French colonial period to the early years of the Vietnam War.
Catherine Deneuve portrays Eliane Devries, a wealthy French plantation owner in Indochina who has adopted a Vietnamese orphan named Camille (played by Linh Dan Pham) as her daughter.
The film follows the tumultuous and complex relationship between Eliane, Camille, and Jean-Baptiste (played by Vincent Perez), a French naval officer with whom Eliane is romantically involved.
Against the backdrop of political and social changes in Vietnam, including the rise of Vietnamese nationalism and the struggle for independence from French colonial rule, the characters in “Indochine” navigate love, betrayal, and personal and political conflicts.
The film delves into themes of colonization, cultural identity, and the clash of different cultures and ideologies.
“Indochine” received critical acclaim for its powerful performances, sweeping cinematography, and compelling storytelling.
It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for several other awards, including the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.
Catherine Deneuve’s portrayal of Eliane Devries is particularly noteworthy, earning her critical acclaim and cementing her status as one of France’s most respected actresses.
“Indochine” is considered a classic of French cinema and is recognized for its poignant portrayal of a significant period in Vietnamese history.
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13. My Favorite Season (1993)
“My Favorite Season” is a French drama film released in 1993, directed by André Téchiné, and stars Catherine Deneuve alongside Daniel Auteuil.
The film tells the story of a family dealing with the complexities of relationships, emotions, and the passage of time. Here are some reasons why “My Favorite Season” is considered one of the noteworthy Catherine Deneuve movies:
Catherine Deneuve’s Compelling Performance: As in many of her films, Catherine Deneuve delivers a captivating performance in “My Favorite Season.”
She portrays the character of Emilie, a middle-aged woman dealing with personal and family struggles, with poise and depth.
Deneuve’s nuanced portrayal of Emilie captures the character’s emotional complexities, including her longing for freedom, her vulnerability, and her struggles with family dynamics. Her performance is a testament to her acting prowess and serves as the emotional anchor of the film.
Strong Direction by André Téchiné: “My Favorite Season” is directed by André Téchiné, a renowned French filmmaker known for his sensitive portrayals of human relationships.
Téchiné’s direction in the film is subtle and skillful, creating an intimate and authentic portrayal of family dynamics, personal struggles, and the complexities of human emotions. He handles the delicate balance between drama and realism with finesse, creating a compelling narrative that resonates with audiences.
Realistic and Poignant Portrayal of Family Dynamics: “My Favorite Season” delves into the complexities of family relationships, capturing the intricacies of emotions, conflicts, and connections within a family.
The film portrays the challenges and dynamics of a fractured family with authenticity and sensitivity, exploring themes of love, loss, and forgiveness.
The characters are multi-dimensional and relatable, and the film offers a realistic and poignant portrayal of the complexities of family life.
“My Favorite Season” is a moving and introspective film that showcases Catherine Deneuve’s exceptional talent and André Téchiné’s skilled direction.
With its realistic portrayal of family dynamics, Deneuve’s compelling performance, and Téchiné’s nuanced direction, “My Favorite Season” is considered one of the notable Catherine Deneuve movies and a memorable entry in the genre of French drama cinema.
“Thieves” (French title: “Les Voleurs”) is a French crime drama film released in 1996, directed by André Téchiné and starring Catherine Deneuve, Daniel Auteuil, and Laurence Côte. The film tells the story of a family of criminals and their tangled relationships with each other and the police.
The film centers around the matriarch of the family, Marie (Deneuve), a wealthy woman who has built her fortune through illegal means.
Her son Alex (Auteuil) is a successful lawyer who is torn between his loyalty to his mother and his duty to uphold the law. Meanwhile, his sister Juliette (Côte) is a drug addict who becomes involved in a dangerous romance with a young thief named Nathan (Benoît Magimel).
As the family’s secrets and lies begin to unravel, tensions mount and the consequences of their actions become increasingly dire.
“Thieves” is known for its complex characters, morally ambiguous themes, and stylish visuals, which capture the gritty realism of contemporary French life.
The film was a critical success upon its release and was praised for its nuanced performances and thought-provoking exploration of crime and family dynamics.
Catherine Deneuve’s portrayal of the ruthless yet vulnerable Marie is considered one of her standout roles, and the film remains a notable entry in the French crime drama genre.
15. Happy Birthday (I) (2019)
“Happy Birthday” is a 2019 Indian Marathi-language drama film directed by Prakash Pawar and produced by Atul Patel. The film stars Mukta Barve, Boman Irani, and Atul Kulkarni in the lead roles.
The film follows the story of a middle-aged woman named Urmila (Mukta Barve) who is celebrating her 40th birthday. However, the occasion is overshadowed by the sudden and unexpected arrival of her estranged husband (Boman Irani) and his girlfriend (Sonnalli Seygall).
As tensions rise and old wounds are reopened, Urmila is forced to confront the painful realities of her failed marriage and the choices she has made in her life. The film explores themes of love, loss, and forgiveness in the context of modern Indian society.
“Happy Birthday” received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising the performances of the lead actors and the film’s sensitive treatment of complex emotional issues, while others criticized the film’s slow pace and lack of dramatic tension.
Despite this, the film was a commercial success and has since gained a following among fans of Marathi cinema.
3 Reasons To Watch Catherine Deneuve Movies
Timeless Elegance: Catherine Deneuve is an iconic actress known for her timeless beauty and effortless elegance. Her performances are often characterized by a quiet intensity and a deep emotional resonance that have made her a beloved figure in French cinema for decades.
Range of Roles: Deneuve has appeared in a wide range of films throughout her career, from classic French New Wave films to Hollywood blockbusters.
Her versatility as an actress is on full display in her varied roles, ranging from romantic leads to complex characters dealing with issues of identity, family, and morality.
Cinematic Legacy: Deneuve’s contributions to cinema have had a lasting impact on the film industry.
Her performances in films such as “Belle de Jour” and “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” have become cinematic touchstones, and her collaborations with directors such as Luis Buñuel and François Truffaut have produced some of the most iconic films in French cinema history.
Watching Catherine Deneuve movies is not only a treat for film enthusiasts but also a chance to appreciate the artistry and legacy of one of the greatest actresses of all time.
Best Catherine Deneuve Movies – Wrap Up
Catherine Deneuve is a legendary French actress who has starred in over 130 films throughout her illustrious career.
Her captivating beauty, natural grace, and versatile acting abilities have made her one of the most enduring and beloved actresses of all time. Some of her best movies include:
Belle de Jour (1967)
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
The Hunger (1983)
Place Vendôme (1998)
3 Hearts (2014)
A Matter of Resistance (1966)
The Last Metro (1980)
These films showcase Deneuve’s immense talent and range as an actress, from her early breakout roles in French New Wave cinema to her later work in Hollywood and beyond.
Whether she is playing a complex, tortured character or a glamorous, sophisticated icon, Deneuve always brings depth, nuance, and authenticity to her performances.