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Auteuil subsequently became known for his work as one of the screen's most accomplished purveyors of emotional turmoil. His searching, conflicted portrayals found particularly effective expression in such films as "Un Coeur En Hiver" (1992), "Ma Saison Préférée" (1993), in which he and Catherine Deneuve starred as siblings with an unnatural bond; "La Séparation" (1994), "La Reine Margot" (1994), "Le Huitième Jour," and "Les Voleurs" (1996), a crime drama in which he and Deneuve were again cast as a brother and sister. In 1999, Auteil collaborated with celebrated director Patrice Leconte on "Girl On The Brigde," playing a knife-thrower who embarks on a journey across Europe with a suicidal young woman (Vanessa Paradis).
Other films starring Auteuil include Pascal Bonitzer's "Petites Coupures" starring opposite Kristen Scott Thomas, Pierre Salvadori's "Apres-Vous" (2003) and Olivier Marchal's "36" and Michael Hanake's Hidden (2005).