The Jules et Jim star had a world-weary presence that created a space for a new type of female actor in French film. Above all she was a great screen star
Jeanne Moreau is probably best known for a movie in which she was perhaps most atypically cast – as Catherine, the entrancing free spirit who has ensnared two men in François Truffaut’s sensational hit Jules et Jim (1962). But in that movie she was no mere ingenue. Moreau was 35 years old, an established star of the French stage and hardly a newcomer to movies. She had a worldly intelligence and sensuality in Jules et Jim that outranked her suitors. It was a clue to the potency and poignancy of her part in that love triangle.