Seeing that I am on a fave French romantic movies rewatch binge, it was pretty inevitable I was going to get to The Horseman on the Roof/Le Hussard sur le Toit, a 1995 movie starring Juliet Binoche and Olivier Martinez.

He is an Italian revolutionary on the run, she is a French aristocrat trying to get back to her elderly husband. Together they travel the troubled landscape of 1832 France.


It’s gorgeous and intelligent and etc etc, but mainly because I ship Pauline and Angelo to a ridiculously insane degree despite (or because) their love story is unspoken and unacted-upon. They are both deeply honorable people and she is a married woman, so they never do make love - the scene above is the closest physical contact they allow themselves* - yeah, the almost-hug and his kissing her hand while asking her to forgive him is the most they get - but I. Don’t. Care! They burn up the screen. And the ending makes me hopefully happy forever…

* I always found it bitterly ironic that he finally gets to touch her naked body but it’s a grotesque parody of making love because he is desperately trying to save her from death by cholera and neither is thinking about romance at that point…ah, movie, you are evil.


Juliette Binoche in Le hussard sur le toit (1995) by Truus, Bob & Jan too!
Via Flickr:
French postcard by CEC Rhone-Alpes. Photo: Mario Tursi. Publicity still for Le hussard sur le toit/The Horseman on the Roof (Jean-Paul Rappeneau, 1995). French actress Juliette Binoche (1964) has appeared in more than 60 international films. She won numerous international awards, and has appeared on stage across the world. André Téchiné made her a star in France with the leading role in his drama Rendez-vous (1985). Her sensual performance in The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Philip Kaufman, 1988) launched her international career. Other career highlights are her roles in Three Colors: Blue (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1993), The English Patient (Anthony Minghella, 1996), for which she won an Oscar, and Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005).

Tu peux être tout ce que tu veux […], mais il faut être fou, mon enfant. Regarde autour de toi le monde sans cesse grandissant de gens qui se prennent au sérieux. Outre qu'ils se donnent un ridicule irrémédiable […], ils se font une vie dangereusement constipée. […]

Jean Giono | Le hussard sur le toit