#WomanCrushWednesday: Léa Seydoux
La Belle Personne / The Beautiful Person (2008)
Who: In this loose adaptation of the 17th century French film novel La Princesse de Clèves, she plays Junie, a new girl in school who catches the attention of her emotionally-wrought Italian teacher Nemours (Louis Garrel).
Get-up: What's with the French and bangs? Not that we're complaning, though — Seydoux channels Françoise Hardy effortlessness with the schoolgirl smarts of stripped pullovers, puffed sleeves and relaxed jerseys.
You'll never forget: As with Christophe Honoré's films, every shot in this film is laced with bittersweet exchanges in his Nouvelle Vague-like revivals. However, the scene where Junie quietly weeps as Nemours plays an aria from Maria Callas is a notable piece of work, displaying Seydoux's masterful control of her character's trembling fragility.
Saint Laurent (2014)
Who: Seydoux plays Loulou de la Falaise, the original Francophile and Yves Saint Laurent's muse in this '70s-set biopic, also starring Gaspard Ulliel as the couturier.
Get-up: So stylish it hurts. Seydoux's frocks sing to an otherworldly tune of Bohemian Rhapsody, in luxe purple velvets, tasseled earrings and printed textiles — she was, of course, the person often credited for bringing colour to the designer's life.
You'll never forget: While Ulliel no doubt steals the movie with his gripping take on the troubled designer (is there anyone famous out there who's not?), Seydoux turns in a sensual, enigmatic performance, lighting up any scene she's in with more than just a cigarette in between her delicate, dedicated fingers.
La belle et la bête / Beauty and the Beast (2014)
Who: Seydoux goes both period and fantastical as Belle in this remake of Jean Cocteau's version from 1946. While it's far from the clutches of Disney's kid-friendly, chipper aesthetic, the movie still casts two lovers pitted against each other, but in special effects galore.
Get-up: As with period dramas (this one's set in the 19th Century), expect ample bosoms in ornamented gowns, further enhanced by lust-worthy jewellery. The French sure know how to play dress-up, whether as fringe-favouring peasants or puffed-sleeved prisoners.
You'll never forget: When Beast approaches Belle at the dinner table and instructs her to eat as she weeps, picking up a fruit in an excrutiatingly forced fashion — never has a piece of fig been so intrumental in keeping someone hanging on a thread.
For last week's #WomanCrushWednesday, click here.
- Image: Getty Images, Pathé
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