Jane Birkin has been attending the Cannes Film Festival for decades—dating back to even before it had a red carpet. And yet, this year’s stands apart: It’s the first that Birkin has ever attended in the company of her daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg. Lately, Gainsbourg has also been Birkin’s collaborator: She chose her mother as the subject of her directorial debut, which premiered at Cannes on Wednesday. Their joint appearance on the red carpet made for a double dose of the “French girl style” they pioneered.
True to form, both Gainsbourg and Birkin stepped onto the red carpet wearing black. Gainsbourg went with a Saint Laurent mini tuxedo blazer and vest (sans shirt), while Birkin (who has lived in France for half a century but is technically British) wore a Celine velvet blazer atop an ivory blouse—the only non-black bit of either ensemble.
Birkin, now 74, had Gainsbourg when she was in her early twenties, a few years after meeting her late partner Serge Gainsbourg. And from the look of the new Jane by Charlotte trailer, the mother-daughter duo is even closer than they appeared at Cannes. As Birkin reveals in the documentary’s new trailer, she still worries she sometimes behaved more like a friend (or “childish mother”). It’s just one instance in which they open up about their anxieties, guilt, and love for one another.
“We’re both very modest when we’re together,” Gainsbourg says. “I don’t know where it comes from.” When it comes to each other, though, they’re both eager to give praise (and be honest). “You were intimidating as a child,” Birkin tells Gainsbourg. “I felt privileged to be in your presence. It wasn’t trivial.” In turn, Gainsbourg asks her mom for advice. “I think I’m reaching that point of not caring,” Birkin says. “It’s best to take off your glasses. So everything is blurry.” Just wait until you see the movie, or at least the trailer, first.