Catherine Deneuve has appeared in at least one major film every year since turning 50 in 1993, often starring in several works in the same season in a career which has encompassed, and continues to encompass, work with leading French auteurs. This chapter focuses on three of Deneuve's films: Belle Maman, Dancer in the Dark, and Le Vent de la nuit/Night Wind. It offers an examination of the varied portraits of older women and of the processes of ageing offered by (and indeed to) Deneuve. Through an examination of Deneuve's roles in these three very different films, there will emerge a vision of her portrayal of gendered ageing as multilayered and complex. Deneuve's roles in these three works engage at once with established on-screen images of both maternity and sexuality while posing a series of challenges to the perceived status of '50 plus' actresses on the international screen.

in From perversion to purity