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Place Vendôme, Paris. Necklaces and bracelets sparkle in the windows of the luxurious jewelry stores around the square. An eminent jeweler, Vincent Malivert, dies suddenly, in circumstances that strongly suggest suicide. His wife, Marianne, had no idea he was in trouble. She’s been living in an alcoholic haze for too long. But when she finds seven diamonds in his safe, the beauty of the stones slowly reignites in her the passion of the diamond dealer she used to be. Other people are after the diamonds. She decides to hold onto them and follow their trail.
Arousing an emotion is even more difficult now than it was when I began. It’s not so easy to surprise people. I no longer have the carefree ability I had at the time of “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” and “The Young Girls of Rochefort”. Experience can be a handicap. But audacity is also about not thinking, forgetting, and I feel I’ve always had that. I’m amazed that people are amazed when I agree to play an alcoholic in “Place Vendôme” or act in films by Leos Carax and Philippe Garrel. It’s not hard to understand, though. If an actor doesn’t take risks, she or he is washed up! Some of the rushes of “Place Vendôme” and parts of André Téchiné’s movies strike me as cruel, but they’re done in full knowledge. What does it matter? They’re not pointless. They express the arc of that character. The pleasure of being an actress resides in playing both a Marianne who sinks and a Marianne who is reborn. I am an actress! It seems to me that every two or three years, I’m rediscovered. Maybe that’s what keeps me going. (Catherine Deneuve in “Libération”, October 7th 1998)