By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood January 3, 2013 at 12:50PM
5. “Les Biches” (1968) During an early sequence in “Amour,” Riva playfully teases that her husband was a bit of a handful in his early days, which Trintignant greets with a rascally, devilish smile. In “Les Biches,” Claude Chabrol’s erotic, malevolent psychological thriller, we get a glimpse of where that smile comes from. Trintignant plays Paul Thomas, a playboy so effortlessly cunning he breaks up the malaise-laden lesbian relationship between stunning beauties Stephane Audran and Jacqueline Sassard during their sojourn in Saint Tropez. Trintignant isn’t a typical screen Lothario, but his steady gaze and guarded seriousness -- which breaks at key moments for, yes, that smile -- suggests powerful seduction lurking under an unassuming surface.
6. & 7. “Three Colors: Blue” (1993) and “Red” (1994) Both Trintignant and Riva have roles in Krysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors trilogy. Riva plays Juliette Binoche’s Alzheimer’s-afflicted mother in “Blue,” a small role, but emotionally crucial to understanding the film’s themes of strained yet resilient human connection. (Case in point: Riva watches a TV special, mesmerized, as bungee jumpers plummet and then bounce on their dancing cords.) Trintignant has a larger role in “Red,” playing a hermetic judge who has seemingly given up on morality, tapping the adulterous phone conversations of his next-door neighbors. Kieslowski’s films look at the strange, almost magical interconnectivity of the universe -- unrelated events collide and complete strangers find each other. It’s appropriately Kieslowskian that Trintignant and Riva, who never appeared onscreen together until “Amour,” would have roles in the bookending installments of this trio of films. A sign of collaboration to come.