Virginie Efira

 

Prior to this year I had no idea who Virginie Efira was. Not a clue.  After this year I won’t soon forget her. Virginie Efira is a Belgian actress who exploded into my world with two great roles, though she has been working as an actress since 2005.

I am no novice to French films; “Les Intouchables” is not only one of my favourite French movies but one of my favourite movies overall. There are so many great films that have been created in France but until this year I had still not heard of Ms. Efira. Was I missing out?

If you were to cross paths with her you would possibly be struck by her beauty.  She got her start in show business delivering the weather on Belgian TV, a stereotypically shallow starting point: but look deeper. She was cast in her first acting role in 2004, her career took off and she is now regarded as one of the top actresses in France.

This year I saw her in two very strong and very different roles. The first movie that captured my attention was ‘Up For Love’.  A comedy about a successful lawyer (played by Ms. Efira) who gets involved with a shorter man – a much shorter man, as in a little over four feet tall. This romantic tale ponders the question ‘Does size matter?’, in this case can a woman fall for someone who is much shorter? The movie was very entertaining and it was driven by the two leads, Ms Efira and Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin.

Immediately after seeing this film I looked into what else she had been in and I found a film called ‘It Boy’. This was another romantic comedy from a few years ago about a magazine editor played by Ms. Efira who wants to get ahead in her hip company and starts a relationship with someone younger.

The next film I saw Ms. Efira, in and the second one she released this year, was the thriller ‘Elle’. This movie stars Isabelle Huppert , who should be nominated for her performance.  Ms. Efira has a supporting role in this movie and, without giving anything away, she was still powerful.

All three of these movies are in French (with English subtitles) and all feature very good performances by Virginie Efira. Some may be turned off at the idea of subtitles but not me.  I was impressed that her performances were so strong that language didn’t really matter. Beside greats like Marion Cotillard, Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Bonoche, and Cartherine Deneuve,  Virginie Efira is regarded as one of the top actresses in France.

I was impressed with the range she has shown, going from comedy to drama so seamlessly. While she may seem glamourous she is focused on improving her craft.

There were so many strong performances from 2016 that went unnoticed and I am glad hers wasn’t among them.

Ms. Efira is a very talented actress who makes about 3-4 movies a year. If Kevin Hart was a white Belgian woman he would be her.

She is extremely talented and not only does the camera love her but her writers and directors must as well as she is a very good actress. I am interested in what she will do next as I have yet to see her deliver a subpar performance.

Ms. Efira is a very talented actress with movies that aren’t necessarily geared towards a North American market, and yet still I can’t get enough of her performances.

These are the reasons why I find Virginie Efira fascinating.