Bertrand Blier, son of French actor Bernard Blier, was surrounded by theatre and film since childhood. Although he did not frequent the theatre and film sets his father worked on often, he was nevertheless inspired by his father’s career and famous friends, including Henri-Georges Clouzot. Blier tried his hand at directing right out of high school and began his film career as a trainee assistant. Blier worked for Georges Lautner as a trainee, and with John Berry, Christian-Jaque, Jean Delannoy, and Denys de La Patelliere as an assistant director. He transitioned to directing with the cinema-verité documentary Hitler—Never Heard of Him (1963), which earned critical praise.
Blier’s career took off when he penned the novel Going Places and directed its film adaptation. Going Places (1974) was financially successful and was the first instance in which Blier explored the topics of sex, power, desire and misogyny, hallmarks of some of his films. Blier continued to write and direct including Calmos (1976), Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1978), Buffet Froid (1979), Menage (1986), Too Beautiful For You (1989), and Mon Homme (1996). He is also noted for having directed Gerard Depardieu to stardom in eight films, most recently in The Clink of Ice (2010).
Blier has been nominated for numerous awards and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for Get Out Your Handkerchiefs in 1978. He won both a César and the Cannes Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Best Director for Too Beautiful For You.