3 Best Movies to Watch by Irène Jacob

Staff & contributors
There are moments in our childhood that we deeply regret, even if we didn’t know better, even if innocence can excuse us, and even if we weren’t the ones primarily responsible for the mistake. The memory of it can be haunting, but none has been as devastating as the memory depicted in Louis Malle’s semi-autobiographical period drama Au Revoir les Enfants. Malle brings us to the boarding school rhythms with ease, straightforwardly depicting it as is, but with the camera and the sequencing recognizant of the implications. With the natural dynamic between the unthinking Julien (Malle’s younger self) and the alert and afraid Jean formed through subtle moments, Au Revoir les Enfants culminates into the heartbreaking coming-of-age moment that Malle personally lived through in World War II.

Genre: Drama, War

Actor: Arnaud Henriet, Francine Racette, François Berléand, François Négret, Gaspard Manesse, Irène Jacob, Luc Etienne, Pascal Rivet, Peter Fitz, Philippe Morier-Genoud, Raphael Fejtö, René Bouloc, Sergio Kato, Stanislas Carré de Malberg

Director: Louis Malle

Rating: PG

Krzysztof Kieślowski’s drama stars Irène Jacob as two identical women living separate lives, and the intricate and indelible ways in which they are bound together. While Weronika, a Polish singer, balances her familial duties and intimate romantic relationship, a French music teacher named Véronique senses that she is not alone.

The Double Life of Véronique’s hypnotic and entrancing qualities will wash over you like a tide crashing over a bed of sand. It is a tough film to capture in words, when so much of it is just beyond words—Kieślowski’s film is one to be seen, sensed, and experienced. 

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

Actor: Alain Frérot, Aleksander Bardini, Bogusława Schubert, Chantal Neuwirth, Claude Duneton, Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus, Guillaume de Tonquédec, Halina Gryglaszewska, Irène Jacob, Jacques Potin, Janusz Sterninski, Jerzy Gudejko, Kalina Jędrusik, Lorraine Evanoff, Louis Ducreux, Philippe Volter, Sandrine Dumas, Thierry de Carbonnières, Władysław Kowalski, Youssef Hamid

Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski

Rating: R

Even if it seems like nothing really "happens" for much of The Secret Garden, its characters paint quite the moving picture of neglected children and their indomitable capacity to find hope in the world. Director Agnieszka Holland tells this story with just the right amount of whimsy: at times it's spooky and magical, but everything is grounded in the charming performances of the film's young actors, who are allowed to be difficult, smart, and sorrowful whenever they need to be. It may be old-fashioned, but watching it in this new decade—when we're all trying to guard our kids from sickness and death—makes it feel all the more relevant.

Genre: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Actor: Andrea Pickering, Andrew Knott, Arthur Spreckley, Colin Bruce, David Stoll, Eileen Page, Heydon Prowse, Irène Jacob, John Lynch, Kate Maberly, Laura Crossley, Maggie Smith, Peter Moreton, Walter Sparrow

Director: Agnieszka Holland

Rating: G