Posted by Alexis Lebrun June 3, 2021
Since her first visit to Cannes in 1976 for TAXI DRIVER, which earned her her first Oscar nomination at the age of 14, Jodie Foster has lived a true love affair with the Festival, which has lasted for 45 years. , with seven of her films presented in the official selection, whether with the cap of actress or director, the last time in 2016 when she accompanied MONEY MONSTER with her hyper glamorous duo, Julia Roberts and George Clooney. With this Palme d’Or d’Honneur, the Fesitval de Cannes wishes to celebrate the artist who knew how to mix auteur films and blockbusters, a great friend of France whose language she masters to perfection, and a woman who since her youngest age militates for better equality of opportunity in Hollywood. His prize will be awarded to him at the Opening Ceremony on July 6, 2021.
In fifty years of career, the one who is one of the most gifted actresses of her generation has acquired an iconic status. Having become a director and producer, Jodie Foster also received two Oscars for best actress, three Golden Globes, and many other awards, and her name remains above all associated with exceptional filmography.
The revelation with Martin Scorsese
Jodie Foster is often said to be a gifted actress, and for good reason. After starting her career at only two years old by filming in commercials, she continued with twenty roles in series between 1969 and 1974. Jodie Foster is a child television star, but the screen is too small for her: she quickly goes to the movies. She first played for Martin Scorsese in ALICE NO LONGER HERE (1974), but it was in her next film that she really exploded in the eyes of the general public around the world, and rose to teenage star status. .
In the masterpiece TAXI DRIVER (1976), she was only 13 when she played the role of a child prostitute, alongside Robert de Niro in the very dark and violent New York of the 1970s. Scorsese’s favorite actor plays the famous Travis Bickle, a traumatized taxi driver upon his return from the Vietnam War. TAXI DRIVER wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and Jodie Foster is nominated for the first time at the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. As if that were not enough, she also stood out by acting as a translator during the press conference for the film on the Croisette, since she spoke perfect French thanks to her studies. She would later become known for herself performing the French dubbing of her characters for most of her films.
First experience as a producer
In the early 1990s, Jodie Foster successfully completed her stint in adult roles, and she has just won two Oscars for Best Actress in Three Years: First for THE ACCUSED (Jonathan Kaplan, 1988), a pioneering film on rape and its consequences, then for the unforgettable THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (Jonathan Demme, 1991), where she brilliantly plays the legendary FBI agent Clarice Sterling, facing the terrible Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). In 1992, she founded her production company (Egg Pictures), whose first production was the film NELL (Michael Apted, 1994), where she played the leading role, and not the easiest.
She plays a wild child in her twenties, born of rape and raised alone by her mother away from civilization, in a North Carolina forest. Jodie Foster literally carries the film on her shoulders with an impressive acting performance, not least thanks to the language invented by her character. No wonder, then, that NELL brought Foster her fourth Oscar nomination as an actress.
1994 is also the year in which she plays opposite Mel Gibson in MAVERICK, an actor whom she will support years later in the face of her difficulties with the press and the courts, by offering her a superb role in LE COMPLEXE DU CASTOR (2011). ) which she will present at Cannes in Out of Competition.
It was then until 1997 to find Jodie Foster in a role in front of the camera, but what a role! In the underrated sci-fi film CONTACT (Robert Zemeckis), she plays alongside Matthew McConaughey a scientist who discovers evidence for the existence of an alien life form, before being chosen to establish the first contact.
This epic 2h30 space odyssey is a success, and allows Jodie Foster to shine for the first time in a blockbuster that puts the package on special effects.
She will then turn more sporadically, reprising the role of Deborah Kerr in ANNA AND THE KING (1999), then facing invaders from her apartment alongside young Kristen Stewart in David Fincher’s PANIC ROOM. She will play in French in front of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s camera in UN LONG DIMANCHE DE FIANCAILLES (2004), and will be directed by the future President of the Cannes 2021 jury, Spkie Lee, in the thriller INSIDE MAN – L’HOMME DE L ‘INTERIOR (2006).
The 2000s are more complicated for Jodie Foster, but she returns all the same in 2007 in the blockbuster À VIF (Neil Jordan), very controversial when it was released in France, and you will quickly understand why. In fact, she plays a widowed woman following an assault suffered in the company of her husband in New York. Traumatized by this tragedy and terrorized on a daily basis, she obtains a weapon and becomes a sort of vengeful vigilante by killing criminals, before setting out in pursuit of her fiancé’s murderers. An explosive film on the subject of self-defense, and revenge for justice, with a particular echo for the scenario of TAXI DRIVER.
It can be argued that the film may have been misunderstood when it was released, and that the director was credited with bad intentions, while his message is arguably more complex than encouraging victims to seek justice through them- same. À VIF also takes on another dimension today, given the much more sustained interest of our time in the subject of violence against women, and the responses to be provided to it. We will not go so far as to risk qualifying the film as feminist, but Jodie Foster and her career certainly are.
After an adventure film aimed at young audiences (L’ILE DE NIM, 2008), Jodie Foster joined Roman Polanski’s CARNAGE where she played the role of Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly, before leaving for the space and the future with ELYSIUM alongside Matt Damon.
Successful passage behind the camera
In 1991, Jodie Foster went behind the camera to make her first film, LE PETIT HOMME, the story of a gifted child, a film that she will nurture from her own experience, she who began to play at age six years. Four years later, she turns a comedy drama around a family meal during Thanksgiving, FAMILY WEEKEND (1995), then THE BEAVER COMPLEX (2011), before directing MONEY MONSTER with Julia Roberts and George Clooney. Thanks to this film, she managed to bring the “Pretty Woman” to the Croisette for the first time!
As a producer, in 2018 she supported the documentary BE NATURAL, THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY-BLACHE, of which she is also the narrator, to reveal the forgotten story of the pioneer of female directors – French moreover – who was almost erased from the history of world cinema.
In 2021, she again noticed a return to the cinema in DESIGNE COUPABLE, where she gives the reply to the French Tahar Rahim, even obtaining her third Golden Globe, which she celebrated live with a kiss to her companion.
All cinema videos, films and shows are available on myCANAL
Follow Canal + cinema sure :
CANAL + is proud to be the partner of all these prestigious events: