She began with the roles of femme fatales, agreed to see herself age under the magnifying glass of the camera, composed with her physical disgrace in the service of unforgettable characters (in The cat facing Jean Gabin; in Madame Rosa in The life ahead) and ends up recognized as a writer.
A free woman, she always boldly affirmed her choices in her private life as in her public commitments that the couple she formed with Yves Montand defended against all odds during the Cold War. Even if it was to pass for “Moscow” risking their credit, in 1956, during a tour in the Soviet glacis, just after the tragic events of Budapest, before becoming the figureheads of a protestant intelligentsia.
A fine psychological and historical analysis
In this very beautiful documentary, rich in rare images and a fine psychological-historical analysis of the changing reign of Simone Signoret, the quiet force that imposed it, we see her rebuffed by journalists who seek to reduce her to a woman of … straight and direct look crossed by flashes of mischief, she asserts her power, as she will in the cinema, even when the vultures threw themselves on her, exploiting the idyll of Montand with Marylin Monroe. She stood up with admirable constancy to overcome what was, for her, a humiliation, without ceasing to love the one who inflicted it on her. One of the highlights of this film is his moving reaction. “Wild eyes and voices of the suburbs”, all her life Simone Signoret embodied a form of emancipation from which many women could draw inspiration.
And what a career! When she appears in Golden helmet, by Jacques Becker in 1951, it had already been filming for ten years, and it was death, in 1985, after having irradiated 80 films, which would make the final clap.