Julie Delpy earned her first Oscar nomination in 2005, when she was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay alongside Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Kim Krizan for their romantic drama, Before Sunset. Nine years later, she, Hawke and Linklater were nominated once again for scripting the sequel, Before Midnight.
Delpy has, in other words, had several chances to experience the Academy Awards in person. "It's very interesting to be there and be part of it," she says. "Even when you go to the restroom, you bump into so many famous people. It doesn't matter if it's before, after, or during the show. If they're foreigners, they're usually outside smoking a cigarette... I like watching the show and getting to meet the other nominees who are there."
"It's also just a huge honor to be nominated by your peers," she adds, "whether it's for your writing, acting, or directing."
Delpy has done all of the above across her decades-long career: In the years since she was discovered at age 14 by none other than Jean-Luc Godard, who cast the young actress in 1985's Détective, she has starred in movies helmed by some of the world's most esteemed filmmakers, in addition to writing, directing, producing and composing music for projects of her own. (Including 2007's Two Days in Paris and its sequel, 2012's Two Days in New York.)
"When people tell me all the things I've made in my life, I always say, 'Well, that's just the tip of the iceberg of what I want to do," explains the actress, whose latest starring role is in the neo-noir thriller, The Lesson.
Below, Delpy shares with A.frame her five favorite films — three of which hail from her all-time favorite filmmaker, two-time Oscar winner Miloš Forman.
Directed by: Miloš Forman | Written by: Michael Weller
After all these years of watching movies for the first time, and then rewatching them with my son, I've realized that Miloš Forman has really become my favorite director of all time. I watched Hair recently with my kid, and I just love that film. I don't necessarily know why I love it as much as I do, but it makes me cry every time I watch it — and I've watched it many times. I never stop crying when they call his name and you know he's going to go to war and die in the very near future. I think it's absolutely brilliant. I think for Forman to pull off a musical so well when he'd never done one before is really impressive, too.
Directed by: Miloš Forman | Written by: Peter Shaffer
Amadeus is so dark, but Forman has such a great sense of humor in his films. Ultimately, the film is about a creative being who is the most misunderstood person. And I think, even though I’m nowhere near Mozart's level, every artist feels misunderstood in some way. I saw the three-hour director's cut recently, and it's even better than the original. It goes even deeper into the dark side of Salieri. He seems even meaner in the longer version, because he uses more of his Machiavellian mind to destroy the brilliant innocence of Mozart, who is naughty and a bit crazy but also extremely innocent.
It's a beautiful film about corruption and powerful people. And in a way, Salieri is far more powerful than Mozart in it, because he's more directly connected to power itself. As a result, Forman really shows you how powerful people can hurt those they envy. I think the way Tom Hulce portrays Mozart in the film is absolutely genius, because he's like a brilliant child — funny and unbearable at times but also beautiful, and naive, and magnificent. I think the film talks really deeply about the creative world and the frustration of non-creative people, which is something I've seen and experienced a lot in this business.
Directed by: Miloš Forman | Written by: Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman
There's a lot of Miloš Forman on this list, but how can you not love One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? Watching all of these movies again with my son, I've really realized just how above even a certain level of mastery Forman was. He's never gimmicky or clichéd, but his movies are always so profound. That's probably why he's become my favorite filmmaker.
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock | Written by: Ernest Lehman
I love Hitchcock. I love Vertigo. I love a lot of Hitchcock's films, but North by Northwest has become my favorite. That's partly because it's a film noir spy movie, which I love, but it also stars Cary Grant, who is so incredible and so attractive in it. I love him, and I really love North by Northwest.
Directed by: Martin Scorsese | Written by: Paul Schrader
I have such a hard time picking just five movies. I mean, I love 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I love King of Comedy — both of those are two of my favorite films. But I really think Taxi Driver is brilliant. I'm thinking of both Taxi Driver and King of Comedy because I've seen them both again recently, but I just rewatched Taxi Driver and I think it's a perfect movie.