Barbara, by Mathieu Amalric… will the real Barbara stand up?

5 October 2021

How best to describe French actor and filmmaker Mathieu Amalric’s 2017 feature Barbara? A movie within a movie? So frequently do the lines between the real and the portrayed blur, it’s not always easy to tell.

Amalric, who also stars as a director making a bio-pic about a cabaret singer named Barbara, becomes enamoured with Brigitte, the actor portraying Barbara. But is it really Brigitte (Jeanne Balibar) he’s obsessed with, or her representation of Barbara? But he’s not the only person on set who’s confused. Brigitte, in learning what she can about Barbara, almost comes to believe she is the late cabaret singer.


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