I have just seen a lovely French film, Potiche (Trophy Wife), with Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu. Watching Depardieu set me thinking again about that elusive quality called tenderness. This is a quality which this strange giant of a man (and he has now become almost gross in size) shares with another large actor, Robbie Coltrane. A friend of mine commented upon this after seeing the film. “What an attractive man Depardieu is”, she said with surprise in her voice. And I knew exactly what she meant. The tenderness shines out of his eyes, a quality of gentle loving-kindness which draws us to him. It is the eyes, those windows of our soul, which reveal the capacity of their owner’s soul to express love, and, in the case of these two actors, their eyes show it so unreservedly and warmly. It is worth going to see Potiche just for those few moments when Depardieu looks at Deneuve with love, and also for the beautiful scene in which the two of them, both middle-aged and slightly ungainly, dance gently together. This is more erotic than many much more explicit love scenes often lacking in any tenderness whatsoever.
It is a quality we need much of as acupuncturists.