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by Peter Knegt
February 11, 2013 11:17 AM
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Berlinale 2013: Isabelle Huppert On Playing a Horny Lesbian Nun

Isabelle Huppert In Berlin.
Legendary French actress Isabelle Huppert has an extraordinarily lengthy filmography, with over 100 credits to her name. But she's come to the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival with a wholly new role: Supérieure Saint Eutrope, the super horny lesbian nun in Guillaume Nicloux’s "The Nun" (La Religieuse).

Huppert's Eutrope is not the film's titular nun. That would be Pauline Etienne as 16-year-old Suzanne Simonin, the heroine at the center of Nicloux’s adaptation of Denis Diderot's controversial 18th century novel (previously adapted by the likes of Jacques Rivette).  Simonin eventually finds herself at a convent headed by Huppert's character, who at first appears quite friendly (especially compared to some of the other characters in the film), but then quickly becomes a little too friendly.

"I like the character I had to portray," Huppert said at the film's press conference. "It's the kind of character you have to sort of take out of the caricature and go beyond certain images that you have with such behaviour and such a character. And actually, the way the script was written and the way Guillaume directed it made it very easy to go beyond the caricature."

Huppert said that while her character may be the superior mother, there's "nothing superior" about her.

"What she feels for this young girl makes her very human and God is very far from her in that moment," she said. "It was all very simple, in a way. And very natural. So I didn't really ask myself what I was going to do and what I should do. It was something easy. And not very scandalous, actually. It was so natural. But maybe that's the scandal. Feeling so natural, there was nothing you can do."

"The Nun" is being released in France this March.  The North American premiere of the film will be in a couple of weeks at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York. It is screening as part of Rendezvous with French Cinema. No U.S. distributor has bitten yet, but it could definitely be worth their while.

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6 Comments

  • Dr. Dalma Kalogjera | February 13, 2013 6:08 PMReply

    I know nobody will believe me-- but I firmly believe in my soul that rampant progression and procession of Eurotrash images of which Miss Gainsbourg and Miss Huppert so vividly testify- not to mention the unmentionable Ukranian Feminem whose hysterical approach to femininity with bare breasts in front of Notre Dame -- not to mention their performance in Vatican must have made even this very very stoic German scholar namely Pope Benedict XVI thoroughly sick. And the whole of Berlinale-- I mean that alone would make anyone run.

    WHAT I REGRET- The aggressive and blasphemous nature of Berlinale and similar actions constitute what is known in America as shooting the middle finger. Berlinale and co and Feminem were shooting the middle finger to the poor Pontiff.

    He should have shown the middle finger RIGHT BACK. what a missed historic opportunity

    I would be delighted if any other readers share my viewpoint..
    PS I respect the Ukraine and its thorny history and their struggle for independence.

  • babette | April 29, 2013 1:42 PM

    Agreed. There has certainly, and obviously, been afoot a willful destruction of the social, cultural and traditional social fabric of the Western world through film and music etc. by the organized group that can't be mentioned.

    Mainstream cinema has fallen probably as low as it can go and now can depict unimaginable forms of perversion and violence. Huppert, and her ilk, will submit to anything for a buck and bray about it being "art."

    I ignore trash. And this latest of hers is one more of just that.

  • Dr. Dalma Kalogjera | February 13, 2013 5:54 PMReply

    Miss Huppert as HORNY LESBIAN NUN joins the sad procession in which Charlotte Gainsbourg also plays a significant role portraying French female cretins to the embarrassement of the French nation and their poor parents. It is a miracle of marketing that a scrawny person whose appearance could be called pretty only if one is extremely generous- has made it to this extent. Does the word "nepotism" ring a bell here? Dare we speak of it?
    I dare!

    A person who cares about European culture a great deal

  • jingmei | February 13, 2013 4:36 AMReply

    This year's Berlinale gets many similar topic productions as sex (addiction), porn, lesbian, etc.

  • Dr Dalma Kalogjera | February 11, 2013 5:08 PMReply

    I will write to the German Minister of Cultural affairs to abolish BERLINALE as this festival thrashes all that it touches. Contrary to the narcissistic minds of the so-called authors- this is EURO_TRASH ---NOT EURO_AVANGARDE>It is a pity that women actresses willingly participate in these exhibitions. I will use the images from this site to begin a proposal for a legal framework. You may collect all the Bears and other awards you want. American Vice Squad is another matter.

  • Daniel Delago | February 11, 2013 1:44 PMReply

    French actress Isabelle Huppert is versatile in her roles. I reviewed a foreign film distributed by First Run Features titled, 'Special Treatment.' She plays a high-end escort. I highly recommend it. She takes exciting risks in her filmography.