Jacques Audiard

"Among current French auteurs, Audiard has been the most successful at making films that keep their hard-edged arthouse credentials while connecting with a wide, more mainstream international audience. It’s partly because his work has much in common with American crime cinema: his films aren’t always thrillers as such, but they invariably carry an underworld or lowlife bass note, and are intense, moody essays on transgression and living dangerously." - Jonathan Romney (The Guardian, 2016)

Jacques Audiard

Director / Screenwriter
(1952- ) Born April 30, Paris, France
21st Century's Top 100 Directors

Key Production Country: France
Key Genres: Drama, Crime Thriller, Psychological Drama, Post-Noir (Modern Noir), Prison Film, Inspirational Drama
Key Collaborators: Juliette Welfling (Editor), Alexandre Desplat (Composer), Stéphane Fontaine (Cinematographer), Michel Barthélémy (Production Designer), Mathieu Kassovitz (Leading Actor), Jean-Louis Trintignant (Leading Actor), Emmanuelle Devos (Leading Actress), Niels Arestrup (Leading Actor), Alain Le Henry (Screenwriter), Thomas Bidegain (Screenwriter), Tonino Benacquista (Screenwriter), Martine Cassinelli (Producer)

"Specialising in a stylish new breed of French crime thriller that updates the hardboiled chic of his father's (Michel Audiard) era, the Parisian native Jacques Audiard, with script collaborator Tonino Benacquista, creates tough-as-nails screen characters that don't require hip-hop and Glocks to let the world know they mean business. - Andrew Bailey (Cinema Now, 2007)
"It has been observed that anyone who likes those eccentric American thrillers not quite attached to major auteur names—Siodmak’s The Killers, Siegel’s The Line-Up, or even Toback’s Fingers—is likely to esteem Jacques Audiard, a near veteran who can deliver Jean-Pierre Melvillean material with the timing and panache of Ray Robinson (without the Sugar). He was the son of Michel Audiard (1920–85), a writer-director who never seems to have made the top rank, but who never let that cloud his enthusiasm for movie storytelling. Jacques worked with his father as a screenwriter and he was an apprentice editor on The Tenant (76, Roman Polanski)." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2010)
"Like Scorsese at his best, Audiard concentrates on tales of flawed men, who would be anti-heroes if they didn't all seem to still like committing crimes. These are men who operate through deceit and violence. It's the brilliance of Audiard that he makes us root for them… The Hollywood scripts and endings are one of the reasons why French critics have been dismissive of his work. It doesn't help his cause either that his father, Michel, was an outsider of the French New Wave known for his witty and conventional scripts that made him a scapegoat for Paris critics who adored Godard et al." - Kaleem Aftab (The Independent, 2010)
"Jacques Audiard is perhaps the only filmmaker in France who makes art-house films that could and should be successful Hollywood blockbusters. In his 2009 movie A Prophet, a green newly convicted felon is forced to commit a murder and from there gradually works his way up the ranks of the prisoners—it would fit perfectly on AMC daytime programming, right between First Blood and The Matrix. Rust and Bone (2012) is one of the most moving love stories of the past decade, and it stars trendy A-listers Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts… But Audiard's movies all have twists that keep them in the art-house realm. The hero of A Prophet is Muslim, and the film is in some ways about Arab-Europeans triumphing over white Europeans who treat them poorly. Yes, Cotillard stars in Rust and Bone, but she loses her legs in the first 20 minutes." - Tal Rosenberg (Chicago Reader, 2016)
"French film director and screenwriter Jacques Audiard was practically born into the film industry in Paris. His father, Michel Audiard, was a renowned screenwriter and director, while his uncle was a producer. Early in his life, Audiard rejected the thought of becoming involved in film, and began to study literature and philosophy at La Sorbonne in Paris. Eventually, after signing up for a film-editing class, Audiard wound up working as assistant editor to Roman Polanski’s for his 1976 film, Le Locataire… Audiard went on to write screenplays during the 1980s. He wrote a handful of scripts, including Mortelle randonnée, 1983 (Deadly Circuit) with his father. before directing his own films in the early 1990s, beginning with Regarde les hommes tomber, 1994 (See How They Fall)." - Molli McConnell (The Culture Trip, 2016)
TSPDT Guide
Recommended
A Prophet (2009)
Worth a Look
See How They Fall (1994), A Self-Made Hero (1996), Read My Lips (2001) , The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005) , Rust and Bone (2012)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
Jacques Audiard / Favourite Films
Jacques Audiard lists 51 of his favourite films at La Cinetek.
Source: La Cinetek (2016)
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    Read My Lips
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