Madame Depardieu and the Beautiful Strangers

Antonia Quirke

A razor-sharp and achingly funny memoir of the men and movies that shaped one woman’s life…

A unique memoir, ‘Madame Depardieu and the Beautiful Strangers’ is the story of how a young female film critic’s love-life is affected and nearly ruined by her obsession with male movie stars. As her increasingly hapless hunt for the right man unfolds and her television and newspaper career unravels, our heroine finally begins to understand that difficult truth: that life is not like the movies.

Entwined with the narrative of her real-life love affairs is a kaleidoscope of digressions on great screen actors – her dream-life with Gerard Depardieu, a personal ad seeking out Tom Cruise, a disastrous climactic encounter with Jeff Bridges. It’s a helter skelter ride through love and the movies which reads like a screwball comedy. And the screwball is our heroine, who seems to know everything about movies and the human heart, and nothing about anything else.

Written in a fresh and utterly engaging voice, ‘Madame Depardieu and the Beautiful Strangers’ is both moving and hilarious, a bittersweet and endearingly honest one-off.

Reviews of Madame Depardieu and the Beautiful Strangers

    • ‘Antonia’s book is wonderfully written…The Drunk in Edinburgh and the Boyfriend and the Car are brilliant and underneath the (deliberately) purple prose about actors is a real, and to me, moving understanding of the craft. Please pass these words on – it is a rare and daring book.’ Alan Rickman
    • ‘Quirke comes across as a disarming mix of David Thomson and Jenny Diski, all the while remaining unique and idiosyncratic.’ Waterstones Books Quarterly
    • ‘…a mad, marvellous film-crazed memoir… Quirke is a young film critic of eccentric brilliance…beautifully written, shamelessly honest and deeply comical… Quirke’s wry self awareness is extremely funny.’ Sunday Times
    • ‘This memoir is ditsy, great fun and clever to boot. It’ll remind you of all the great movies you’ve seen and many you’ve meant to, but, most of all, of the one playing inside your own head.’ Grove Magazine
    • ‘It is a terrific read and contains some of the best writing about actors I’ve encountered… I should have put it aside as unsuitable for my purposes after just 15 minutes but kept giving myself a few more pages, and then a few more, instead of getting down to work. So, if the above strikes you as hastily unfinished, blame (Antonia Quirke).’ Independent