Moreau, La: A Biography of Jeanne Moreau

Marianne Gray, Author Dutton Books $23.95 (262p) ISBN 978-1-55611-487-8
Jeanne Moreau is a legend to lovers of foreign films, with her gravely voice and unabashed, uncompromising sensuality: ""Sleeping with people must be one of the best ways of getting to know them,"" she murmurs. Her films, from Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1959) and Jules et Jim (1962) to La Femme Nikita (1989), span 40 years of cinema history, and her stage appearances are storied in her native France. She has apparently been lucky in love, having been involved happily with Fran ois Truffaut, Roger Vadim and Pierre Cardin, in addition to her marriages to actor and screenwriter Jean-Louis Richard and director William Friedkin. She is less lucky in her biographer. Gray (Depardieu) is an odd combination of star-struck, self-aggrandizing and plain boring. Gray likes to tell the reader exactly what she herself said to Moreau and who answered her inquiries, who sent faxes, etc. Her faults are not helped by the fact that little attempt has been made to edit this biography for the American reader, resulting in such puzzling phrases as ""Truffaut has bunked off [left] school"" and referring to her heroine as ""a Third Programme Bardot"" (Third Programme being a BBC high-end radio channel, now defunct). Gray also supplies the good news that the 68-year-old Moreau is breaking ground as a director and is no less outspoken than before. However, she has earned a biography that is more outrageous than this, and more fun. Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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