This was the official French entry for Best Foreign Film at the 1990 Academy Awards. Isabelle Adjani gives a towering performance as Camille Claudel (1864-1943), a gifted sculptor, the mistress of Auguste Rodin, and a victim of her family's mixed feelings about her talent, pride, and vindictiveness. She spent the last 30 years of her life in a mental institution.
This visually stunning film directed by Bruno Nuytten focuses on Camille's relationships with her adoring father; her loving brother Paul, a poet, playwright, and diplomat; and her jealous mother. Gerard Depardieu plays Rodin, an idiosyncratic sculptor whose 15-year relationship with Camille passed through many phases in which he regarded her as an apprentice, model, muse, lover, artistic competitor, and enemy. Camille Claudel is an ambitious film about an overlooked artist and self-reliant woman whose story is worth pondering.