On Adèle Haenel

Melissa Anderson at Artforum:

No matter how much her projects vary in tone, style, and subject matter, Haenel always adjusts the temperature. Languorous and narcotic, Bertrand Bonello’s House of Tolerance(2011)—which traces the final months at an upscale Parisian brothel at the dawn of the twentieth century—is, like BPM, a superb ensemble period piece enhanced by Haenel. As Léa, she stands out as the most unflappable of her sex-worker sistren, the one least concerned with sweet-talking the clientele. When one belle epoque john complains, “No one knows what you’re thinking,” she dismisses him with a curt, “I don’t think anything.” Playing someone for whom acquiescence is the foremost professional requirement, Haenel burrows deep to find Léa’s impervious sense of self. That extreme self-possession is also manifest in her knockout cameo in Bonello’s Nocturama (2016), about a massive attack on the French capital carried out by a cadre of millennial and Gen Z terrorists. In the aftermath of the bombings, Haenel, whose character is credited only as the “young woman on a bicycle,” dispassionately remarks, “It was bound to happen.”

more here.