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French film icon Catherine Deneuve shocked by success of Brokeback

Angela D�Amboise | February 22, 2006

Catherine Deneuve
BANGKOK — French screen legend Catherine Deneuve told reporters over the weekend that she was shocked Brokeback Mountain had become a hit with audiences in the United States, because of America�s battle with homophobia.

The Oscar nominated actress, who has been nominated for the French equivalent of the Academy Award ten times, said she thought the film�s controversial subject matter would prevent it from becoming a commercial success.

�I didn't think it would be so successful,� Denueve told reporters at the fourth Bangkok International Film Festival, where she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award on Friday.

When a reporter suggested that homophobia and right wing activists in the US could have been expected to sink the film by Taiwanese director Ang Lee, Deneuve nodded and said, "absolutely".

�I suppose it's the right film at the right time for the American (film market),� the 62-year-old star said. �You wouldn't think that because of homophobia it could be popular But it's also one of the strengths of the American people that they are surprising.�

Though the film found a wide release and mass critical praise in the US, two cinemas banned showing the film. Brokeback Mountain has grossed more than $70 million so far, making it the highest grossing of this year�s nominees for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

Widely regarded as one of French cinema�s greatest actresses, Deneuve rose to fame in 60�s French film movement. She made her English language debut in 1965�s Repulsion, which also marked Director Roman Polanski�s first English Language film. She has won awards for her roles in Indochine, The Last Metro and Belle de Jour. – Gay Link Content

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