Diva (1981)

Director:Jean-Jacques Beineix Producer:Claudie Ossard, Irène Silberman, Serge Silberman Story by:Based on Diva by Delacorta Screenplay by:Jean-Jacques Beineix, Jean Van Hamme  Music by:Vladimir Cosma Cinematography:Philippe Rousselot  

Edited by:Monique Prim Running time:117 minutes Country:France Language:French, English Genre:Thriller Subtitle:English  Starring: Frédéric Andréi as Jules, Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez as Cynthia Hawkins, Roland Bertin as Weinstadt,
Richard Bohringer as Gorodish
, Gérard Darmon as L''Antillais, Chantal Deruaz as Nadia, Jacques Fabbri as Jean Saporta,
Patrick Floersheim as Zatopek
, Thuy An Luu as Alba, Dominique Pinon as Le Curé,

Dominique Besnehard as the record store employee, Isabelle Mergault as The game girl

Two tapes, two Parisian mob killers, one corrupt policeman, an opera fan, a teenage thief, and the coolest philosopher ever filmed. All these characters twist their way through an intricate and stylish French language thriller.

Diva is a 1981 French thriller film directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix, adapted from the novel Diva by Daniel Odier (under the pseudonym Delacorta). It is one of the first French films to let go of the realist mood of 1970s French cinema and return to a colourful, melodic style, later described as cinéma du look.

The film made a successful debut in France in 1981 with 2,281,569 admissions, and had success in the US the next year grossing $2,678,103. The film became a cult classic and was internationally acclaimed.

The film initially was not a commercial success after its March 1981 release in France, where it faced bad press and a hostile reception by critics. However French audiences slowly grew after it was released in the United States and found success there. Diva played for a year in Paris theaters. David Denby, in New York, upon its 1982 American release, wrote "One of the most audacious and original films to come out of France in recent years...Diva must be the only pop movie inspired by a love of opera."

Film critic Roger Ebert gave it four out of four stars and praised its cast of characters. He called Beineix "a director with an enormous gift for creating visual images" and elaborated on his filmmaking:

The movie is filled with so many small character touches, so many perfectly observed intimacies, so many visual inventionsfrom the sly to the grandthat the thriller plot is just a bonus. In a way, it doesn''t really matter what this movie is about; Pauline Kael has compared Beineix to Orson Welles and, as Welles so often did, he has made a movie that is a feast to look at, regardless of its subject. [...] Here is a director taking audacious chances, doing wild and unpredictable things with his camera and actors, just to celebrate moviemaking.
 Roger Ebert
Ebert also praised the film''s chase scene through the Paris metro, writing that it "deserves ranking with the all-time classics, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The French Connection, and Bullitt."


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BAFTA Awards 1983

BAFTA Film Award
Best Foreign Language Film
Jean-Jacques Beineix 

Chicago International Film Festival 1981

Silver Hugo
Best First Feature Film
Jean-Jacques Beineix 

César Awards, France 1982

Best First Work (Meilleure première oeuvre)
Jean-Jacques Beineix 
Best Music (Meilleure musique)
Vladimir Cosma 
Best Cinematography (Meilleure photographie)
Philippe Rousselot 
Best Sound (Meilleur son)
Jean-Pierre Ruh 
Best Production Design (Meilleurs décors)
Hilton McConnico 

Image Awards 1982

Image Award
Best Motion Picture
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture
Wilhelmenia Fernandez 

Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards 1982

Best Foreign Film

Moscow International Film Festival 1981

Golden Prize
Jean-Jacques Beineix 

Mystfest 1982

Best Film
Jean-Jacques Beineix 

National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA 1983

NSFC Award
Best Cinematography
Philippe Rousselot 
3rd place
NSFC Award
Best Director
Jean-Jacques Beineix 
Tied with Francesco Rosi for Tre fratelli (1981) in 3rd place.

New York Film Critics Circle Awards 1982

2nd place
Best Cinematographer
Philippe Rousselot 

Satellite Awards 2008

Satellite Award
Best Classic DVD

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