9 films featuring Daniel Auteuil to discover... or rediscover

A much-loved actor with an impressive back-catalogue of no less than 87 films to his credit, at 66 years old Daniel Auteuil is inarguably one of French cinema’s leading figures. With the opportunity to watch him again on video on demand from 5 September in the comedy Among Friends, here’s a look back at the principal films which have marked this chameleon comic’s career.

Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring by Claude Berri (France, Italy, Switzerland, 1986)

Daniel Auteuil, Gérard Depardieu, Yves Montand and Emmanuelle Béard appear in the film adaptations of writer Marcel Pagnol’s diptych about Ugolin and le Papet, two peasants from Provence at the beginning of the 20th century who covet a neighbour’s land because he has a rare resource: a spring. Auteuil won a Cesar and a BAFTA for Best Actor for his role as the bearish Ugolin.

Queen Margot by Patrice Chéreau (France, Germany, Italy, 1994)

Based on the eponymous novel by Alexandre Dumas, Queen Margot is the story of the unpopular political marriage between two historical figures at the dawn of the Protestant massacre at Saint Barthélémy: the Catholic Marguerite de Valois (Isabelle Adjani) and the Protestant Henri de Valois and future King Henri IV of France(Daniel Auteuil). This historical drama notably won two awards at Cannes in 1994 and five Cesars in 1995.

The Eighth Day by Jaco van Dormael (Belgium, France, United Kingdom, 1996)

Auteuil plays Harry, a man who dedicates his life to his work until he meets George, who is mentally handicapped and lives in the moment. A wonderful friendship forms between the two men. The principal actors in this dramatic comedy, Daniel Auteuil and Pascal Duquenne, won the Best Actor award at the 1996 Cannes Festival.

The Girl on the Bridge by Patrice Leconte (France, 1999)

“You look like a girl who’s going to do something stupid”, says Gabor as he approaches Adele, about to jump off a bridge. Gabor is a knife thrower who needs a target... Thanks to his role as Gabor, playing alongside Vanessa Paradis, Daniel Auteuil won the second Cesar for Best Actor in his career.

The Adversary by Nicole Garcia (France, Switzerland, Spain, 2001)

Based on Emmanuel Carrière’s novel - itself inspired by a true story - Auteuil plays compulsive liar Jean-Claude Roman who in January 1993 killed all his family and unsucessfully attempted suicide. The inquest revealed that he was not in fact a doctor, as he had claimed to be for 18 years.

36th Precinct by Olivier Marchal (France, 2004)

Daniel Auteuil and Gérard Depardieu team up once again in this crime thriller based on a true story about two former friends, both chiefs of rival police forces, who, competing to win a big promotion, will stop at nothing to bring down a gang of dangerous robbers.

Among Friends by Olivier Baroux (France, 2015)

Richard, Gilles and Philippe have been friends for decades. One summer they set off with their partners for a cruise on a yacht. However, living on top of each other isn’t always easy: between the laughter and confessions, grief and jealousy come to the surface, especially as a storm builds. Will their friendship stand the test? Some big names from the French screen share the maritime prison of this comedy: appearing beside Daniel Auteuil are Gérard Jugnot (The Chorus), François Berléand, Zabou Breitman, Mélanie Doutey and Isabelle Gélinas. The film will be available on video on demand on 5 September in Walk this Way’s Comedies à la Carte collection.

In the Name of my Daughter by Vincent Garenq (France, Germany 2016)

Also inspired by a true story, the film describes the struggle of André Bamberski, a leading accountant who for 30 years hunted the Germany-based father-in-law and suspected murderer of his daughter, killed in 1982, in order that he could be tried in France. 

02 September 2016, by Cineuropa