Cousin, Cousine (1976): French Comedy Starring Marie-Christine Barrault in Oscar-Nominated Performance

In 1976, Marie-Christine Barrault received a Best Actress nomination for the French comedy “Cousin, Cousine,” which was also nominated for Best Foreign-Lnaguage Oscar. It was directed by Jean-Charles Tacchella, whose co-written script also received a nod from the Academy’s Writers Branch.

The nomination of Barrault, who’s niece of the famed French actor, Jean-Louis Barrualt, might have less to do with the quality of her acting (which was superb) than with the immense popularity of the movie in New York, Los Angeles, and other urban centers.

Recounting in a nonjudgmental way the open adulterous affair between two cousins, the nominated screenplay, by Jean-Charles Tacchela and Daniele Thompson, deserved recognition for being funny, witty, and original.

Joel Schumacher’s 1989 pedestrian American remake, retitled “Cousins,” starring Isabella Rossellini, as the married woman, and Ted Danson, as the free-spirited soul, only showed how more charming was the original French film, which moved faster and was shorter by 15 minutes.

Oscar Alert

In 1976, the winner of the Foreign-Language Oscar film was the Ivory Coast’s entry, “Black and White in Color.”

Paddy Chayefsky won the Original Script Oscar for the TV satire “Network,” which also garnered the Best Actress Award for Faye Dunaway.