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40. La Fille Sur Le Pont
The Girl on the Bridge

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Adele (Vanessa Paradis) is an attractive but unlucky 22 year old woman. We are introduced to her and her weakness for men in a long gently humorous introduction captured in a single shot using several cameras.

Her life is so empty that she contemplates suicide one night. She teeters on a bridge over the River Seine River. A man called Gabor (Daniel Auteuil) takes an interest in her. As he ademits he frequents such bridges in search of women with nothing to lose. He offers work to them in his circus act.

Together, they travel along the northern shore of the Mediterranean through France, Monaco, Italy, Greece and Turkey with their dangerous act. There is a powerful erotic charge between them and we are introduced to some interesting if unlikely ideas, Together they experience fantastic good fortune, seemingly in control of all aspects of hazard and chance.

In romanic comedies the characters discover that they are made for each other in the last scene. Here they know it early on, but for various reasons that are only partially stated explicitly, they will not simply settle down together. They are like two halves of a torn bank note - each worthless without the other half.

Adele falls in love with a newly-wed groom and takes off with him to Greece, while Gabor is stuck on a ship to Turkey. Luck deserts them both, and Gabor spirals downward in Istanbul until he too reaches the depths of dispair.

This is a good, if slightly unsettling film. It is really a two-hander, with all other parts incidental. Vanessa Paradis with her gap teeth is perfect and gives a stunning performance, sexually incontinent, sensual and innocent all at the same time. If you ever wondered how anyone could find danger erotically exciting then this film will explain it for you.

The film is beaufifully shot in black and white. It is atmospheric with gentle touches of humour, and a great selection of music for the soundtrack. A moden classic.


Genre: Drama / Comedy / Romance
Year: 1999
90 mins
Country: France
Director: Patrice Leconte
Writing credits:
Serge Frydman (dialogue + screenplay)
Produced by Christian Fechner
Music: Misc
Jean-Marie Dreujou
Colour: Black & White
Sound Mix:

Vanessa Paradis — Adèle
Daniel Auteuil — Gabor
Frédéric Pfluger — Contortionist
Demetre Georgalas — Takis
Catherine Lascault — Irene
Isabelle Petit-Jacques — Bride
Mireille Mossé — Miss Memory
Didier Lemoine — TGV Ticket Conductor
Bertie Cortez — Kusak
Stéphane Metzger — Italian Waiter
Claude Aufaure — Suicide Victim
Farouk Bermouga — TGV Waiter
Nicolas Donato — Mr. Loyal
Enzo Etokyo — Italian Megaphone
Giorgios Gatzios — Barker

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