Beatrice Loayza at The Current:
In the first half of her career, Delphine Seyrig seemed to float above reality. To watch her in films by Alain Resnais and Luis Buñuel is to feel hypnotized, to be compelled to reach out and touch her, only to grasp at thin air. It was not until almost fifteen years into her life in the spotlight that she was brought down to earth, by her stripped-down performance as the widowed housewife and part-time prostitute in Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975). That role helped unshackle the actor from her ethereal persona, but it was her second collaboration with the Belgian filmmaker that truly set her free.
In the effervescent and bittersweet shopping-mall romance Golden Eighties, Seyrig plays another Jeanne—Jeanne Schwartz, a Jewish woman who runs a clothing store. Like Dielman, the character is a dutiful mother to a self-absorbed young man.