Charlotte Rampling: The Look


“A self-portrait through others,” as it’s subtitled, this conversational hall of mirrors never takes its microscope off the 65-year-old actress Charlotte Rampling, ruminating freely on beauty, acting, sensuality, being photographed, and “what’s behind the eyes.” Less famed as a thespian over the decades than as an icy ‘60s–’70s icon, jet-set provocateur, and basilisk glower-puss, Rampling seemed ill-used by filmmakers until the new millennium, when she emerged from a middle-aged struggle with depression (practically prophesied in Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories) and turned into one of Europe’s great aging lionesses. She has certainly been around the block and earned her time for reflection, even if this doc is far more tantalizing when it picks over her early film work (Georgy Girl to The Night Porter to The Verdict, but where’s Zardoz?) than when she muses abstractly about being a woman, aging, and other talk-show topics. Along for the stroll are various compatriots, including Paul Auster, Frederick Seidel, and fashion photog Peter Lindbergh, all up for Rampling and filmmaker Angelina Maccarone’s game of menopausal self-appreciation. Women of a certain age will kvell, but the point might be better made for the rest of us by rewatching the autumnal Rampling in Ozon’s Under the Sand.