Oscar Actors: Binoche, Juliette–Background, Career, Awards, Cumulative Advantage

Research in progress: Oct 29, 2021

Juliette Binoche Career Summary

Occup. Inheritance: Yes; father and mother actors; grandparents too

Social Class

Breakthrough Role: Rendez-Vous, 1985, age 21

Formal Education:


Oscar Award

Other Oscars: 1, Best Actress nom, 2000; age 34

Other Awards: Tony nom




Juliette Binoche (born 9 March 1964), a French actress, artist, and dancer. She has appeared in more than 60 feature films, been the recipient of numerous international awards, and performed frequently on stage.

She began taking acting lessons during adolescence and, after performing in several stage productions, was cast in the films of notable auteur directors, Jean-Luc Godard (Hail Mary, 1985), Jacques Doillon (Family Life, 1985), and André Téchiné; the latter would make her a star in France with the leading role in his 1985 drama Rendez-vous.

Feature Debut in English-Speaking Role:

Her sensual performance in her English-language debut “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” (1988), age 24, directed by Philip Kaufman, launched her international career.

She joined Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors: Blue (1993), a performance for which she won the VeniceFestival Award for Best Actress and a César.

Binoche gained further acclaim in Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient (1996), for which she was awarded Best Supporting Actress Oscar, BAFTA  Award, and Festival.

For her performance in Lasse Hallström’s romantic comedy Chocolat (2000), Binoche was nominated for the 2000 Best Actress Oscar.

During the 2000s, she maintained a successful career, alternating between French and English language roles in both mainstream and art-house productions.

Triple Crown: Berlin, Cannes, Venice Fest

In 2010, she won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy making her the first actress to win the European “Best Actress Triple Crown” (for winning best actress awards at the Berlin, Cannes and Venice film festivals).

Tony Nomination

Binoche has intermittently appeared on stage, most notably in a 1998 London production of Luigi Pirandello’s “Naked” and in a 2000 production of Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal” on Broadway for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. In 2008, she began a world tour with a modern dance production in-i devised in collaboration with Akram Khan.

Often referred to as “La Binoche” by the press, her other notable performances include: Mauvais Sang (1986), Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (1991), Damage (1992), The Horseman on the Roof (1995), Code Unknown (2000), Caché (2005), Breaking and Entering (2006), Flight of the Red Balloon (2007), Camille Claudel 1915 (2013), and Clouds of Sils Maria (2014).

Occup. Inheritance

Binoche was born in Paris, the daughter of Jean-Marie Binoche, a director, actor, and sculptor, and Monique Yvette Stalens, a teacher, director, and actress. Her father, who is French, was raised partly in Morocco by his French-born parents. Juliette’s mother was born in Częstochowa, Poland. Binoche’s maternal grandfather, Andre Stalens, was born in Poland, of Belgian (Walloon) and French descent, and Binoche’s maternal grandmother, Julia Helena Młynarczyk, was of Polish origin. Both of them were actors born in Częstochowa; the German Nazi occupiers imprisoned them at Auschwitz as intellectuals.

When Binoche’s parents divorced in 1968, Binoche, then 4, and her sister Marion were sent to a provincial boarding school. During their teens, the Binoche sisters spent their school holidays with their maternal grandmother, not seeing their parents for months at a time. Binoche has stated that this perceived parental abandonment had a profound effect on her.[11]
She was not particularly academic[12] and in her teenage years began acting at school in amateur stage productions. At seventeen, she directed and starred in a student production of the Eugène Ionesco play, Exit the King. She studied acting at the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique (CNSAD), but quit after a short time as she disliked the curriculum.[12] In the early 1980s, she found an agent through a friend and joined a theater troupe, touring France, Belgium and Switzerland under the pseudonym “Juliette Adrienne”.[13] Around this time, she began lessons with acting coach Vera Gregh.[14]
Her first professional screen experience came as an extra in the three-part TF1 television series Dorothée, danseuse de corde (1983) directed by Jacques Fansten, followed by a similarly small role in the provincial television film Fort bloque directed by Pierrick Guinnard. After this, Binoche secured her first feature-film appearance with a minor role in Pascal Kané’s Liberty Belle (1983). Her role required just two days on–set, but was enough to inspire Binoche to pursue a career in film.[12]