Isabelle Adjani, one of France’s national treasures, received her first Oscar nomination as well as a César Award for Best Actress for The Story of Adele H. The then 19-year-old Adjani plays Adele, the daughter of famous author Victor Hugo, who is exiled abroad with her family when she meets and falls in love with Lieutenant Pinson, a British officer. In spite of her family’s opposition, Adele follows Pinson halfway around the world, yet fails to win his love. She gradually descends into madness and spends the rest of her life in an asylum.
Director Francois Truffaut once remarked that Adjani was the only actress who can move him to tears in front of the camera, and said that he could not have made THE STORY OF ADÈLE H. without her. The film revolves around one of Truffaut’s favourite themes, unrequited love, and Adjani’s delicate and sensitive performance commands the audience’s attention from beginning to end. Utilizing intricate film language and narrative techniques, Truffaut portrays Adele and Pinson’s relationship from initial encounter to her final emotional breakdown with brilliance and acuity. THE STORY OF ADÈLE H. not only propelled Adjani to world-wide stardom, but also stands the test of time as a romantic and artistic classic. *Post-screening talk will be held at the January 11 screening at the auditorium.
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