Seldom does life imitate art, or at least pretensions to art, with such fidelity as in the death of the French actress Marie Trintignant. She died recently of the head injury that she suffered in a Vilnius hotel room, after a quarrel with her latest boyfriend, the rock singer Bertrand Cantat. The post mortem suggests that she received several savage blows to the head.

Trintignant was in Vilnius shooting a film about the life of the writer Colette; Cantat followed her there. Hotel staff heard a lot of noise emerging from their suite late at night, and at 5:30 the following morning Cantat called Trintignant’s brother, also staying at the hotel. Trintignant’s suite was disordered, with broken vases and furniture strewn around it. She was admitted to hospital for a head injury from which she did not recover, despite emergency surgery, while Cantat was admitted to hospital with alcoh ...