Isabelle Adjani 'Skirt Day': When Cultures Collide in the Classroom

Isabelle Adjani Skirt DayIsabelle Adjani in 'Skirt Day.'

Isabelle Adjani 'Skirt Day': Clash of cultures

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle briefly discusses several of the films he saw at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival (Feb. 5–15), including the latest Isabelle Adjani star vehicle:

So the [Paul] Schrader film [Adam Resurrected] was a disappointment. To a lesser extent, so was the Chabrol film Bellamy, with Gérard Depardieu as a cop investigating an insurance scam: not bad, but languorous and a bit like a TV movie. Another French entry, Skirt Day [La journée de la jupe], was more interesting. A mix of black comedy and social comment, the film marks the screen return of Isabelle Adjani, who plays a frustrated teacher in an ethnically diverse school who finally gets the attention of her students by holding them at gunpoint.

Skirt Day is a mess, but it comes as a refreshing antidote to a glut of politically correct films overtaking Europe – the same film, over and over – about how wonderful immigrants are, and if one happens to turn nasty or violent, it's your fault for being a greedy Western slime. By the way, the film's title refers to the short skirt Adjani wears to work that fatal day. The sartorial choice sets off her students, who come from cultures that tell them a woman in a skirt is a prostitute or loose woman.

Isabelle Adjani movies

From 1970 on, Isabelle Adjani has been featured in more than 30 films, mostly French productions. She has taken home four César Awards and has been nominated another three times. She has also been shortlisted twice for the Best Actress Academy Award.

Adjani's Best Actress César Awards were for the following:

  • Possession (1981).
  • One Deadly Summer / L'été meurtrier (1983).
  • Camille Claudel (1988).
  • Queen Margot / La reine Margot (1994).

Her nominations were for the following:

  • The Story of Adele H / L'histoire d'Adèle H. (1975).
  • Barocco (1976).
  • Subway (1985).

Isabelle Adjani's two Best Actress Oscar nominations were for François Truffaut's The Story of Adele H and Bruno Nuytten's Camille Claudel (1989). She lost to, respectively, Louise Fletcher for Milos Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Jessica Tandy for Bruce Beresford's Driving Miss Daisy.

Prior to Skirt Day, Adjani was last seen on the big screen in a cameo in François Dupeyron's Monsieur Ibrahim / Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran (2003), starring Omar Sharif.

See also: Isabelle Adjani Wins Fifth Best Actress César.


Isabelle Adjani Skirt Day image: © Jean Marie Marion / Mascaret Films.

Isabelle Adjani 'Skirt Day': When Cultures Collide in the Classroom © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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