Bon voyage

2003

Comedy / Drama / Mystery / Romance / Thriller / War

3
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 4487

Synopsis


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Cast

Virginie Ledoyen as Camille
Gérard Depardieu as Jean-Étienne Beaufort
Isabelle Adjani as Viviane Denvers
Peter Coyote as Alex Winckler
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.07 GB
1204*720
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 54 min
P/S 5 / 16
2.08 GB
1792*1072
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 54 min
P/S 7 / 17

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ruby Liang (ruby_fff) 7 / 10

It is earnestly delightful in spite of the serious subject of wartime woes.

It's wartime drama - WWII, with French and Jews and Germans, but this one is somehow fun, earnestly so. Director Jean-Paul Rappeneau co-wrote the script to his well-received film "Bon Voyage" (2003). Unlike director Bertrand Tavernier's "Safe Conduct" aka "Laissez-passer" (2002), w-d Rolf Schubel's "Gloomy Sunday" (1999), or w-d Claude Berri's "Lucie Aubrac" (1997), "Bon Voyage" is as chipper as its title sounds - c'est la vie (whatever) - and we have the beautiful talented Isabelle Adjani to thank for. It is her delightful performance throughout as the center of attraction (and attention), the cause and effect of it all, that made the film so enjoyable as it is. Hell, what's another derailment of her plan and expectations - will worry about that another time. The backbone of the story does revolve around a pair of young enthusiasts: Grégori Derangère as Frédéric and Virginie Ledoyen (from Francois Ozon's "8 Women") as Camille. The incomparable Gérard Depardieu, the witty Yvan Attal (of "My Wife is An Actress") and versatile Peter Coyote (juggling French, English and German here) are some of the stellar cast involved.

There are many characters coming and going in this plot of a movie, and how it's all juggled is a skilful knack that requires no analysis - Rappeneau is simply a genius. The story just builds upon itself, one episode after another, or even with overlapping events, but never confusing - that's the delight of it all, somehow every detail turns out right on the screen and we just lap it all up like a tastily presented French dessert, literally so. There's thrills, trills, tender hesitant moments and taut ominous escapes, all playing out in front of our eyes.

From reading the Director's Note on the Sony Pictures Classics' Bon Voyage official site, Rappeneau indicated this is his most personal and successful work ever. Depicting Bordeaux 1940 from memories of his childhood years is very much close to his heart and he "had worked and reworked the script for almost 3 years." This film is a labor of love all round, the cast and crew complementing the director's passion and a formidable script by collaborative writers along with the director and his son Julien - adaptation efforts by Gilles Marchand, Patrick Modiano, and Jérôme Tonnerre.

Music by Gabriel Yared (varied in tone from his previous film scores like "The English Patient" or "Talented Mr. Ripley"), who provided a befitting theme that kept the pace and rhythm of the plot going - almost like a train going non-stop, reflecting Adjani's Viviane's vivacious energy (even when she's tired), keeping her going as she meets whatever comes, walking on with head held high and stylish attire always, no looking back, let alone time for regrets.

Ah, mustn't forget the wonderfully translated, skilful subtitles by Ian Burley, who also did subtitles for films in Italian: "Bread and Tulips" (2000) aka Pane e tulipani, "The Last Kiss" (2001) aka L'ultimo bacio, and Tom Tykwer's "Heaven" (2002).

If you find this much too light a wartime relationship drama, try w-d Mäx Fäberböck's "Aimée and Jaguar" (1999, in German, based on a true story) with brilliant performances from Juliane Köhler as Aimée and Maria Schrader as Jaguar.

Reviewed by tommiller80 9 / 10

A Heavyweight Lightweight

This movie travels farther on 8 gunshots, 2 kisses and 100 clichés than should be possible. Yet it still works. Brilliant.

As I was driving home from the theater, I tried to figure out how it got away with movie staples like the pages of a novel manuscript blowing across a beach or the impossible series of fortuitous coincidences without the entire audience standing up and screaming, "I've seen that a million times before! And you've pushed beyond the edge of believability!" But the actors were so enchanting and the screen so filled with believable extras that I forgot to care. A friend who saw it with me said it transported him to Paris so perfectly that he was disappointed when we left the theater and realized we were still in Indiana.

Overall, a romantic-comedy-thriller with subtlety, wit and elan.

Reviewed by chicagomike 9 / 10

The more you know about French cinema, the more you will love this film

Director and auteur Jean-Pierre Rappenau was 8 years old during the spring of 1940 as France's Third Republic disintegrated in a matter of a few weeks. It was a time, he says, when "all the adults were a little bit insane." He and the production staff have lovingly and meticulously recreated that world in a film where all the characters are essentially fictional. The structure, a classic farce, is ideal for the period as multiple plot lines zip and intersect only to come together in a logical, satisfying conclusion. The peg for this plot is Frederic, played by brilliant newcomer Gregory Derangere, who is fully up to playing opposite Adjani, Depardieu and Ledoyen. The real strength of the film is in its supporting performances. M. Rappeneau has cast the film exquisitely with actors who volunteered ideas for both action and dialogue and who know and prove that it is possible to fully realize a character with just two short sentences of dialogue. Though not yet as widely influential as Renoir's 'Rules of the Game,' 'Bon Voyage' richly deserves to be a companion piece to that classic. Though it demands a lot of the audience, it gives much back. One of its demands is tolerance for a certain coyness and misdirection as to the exact genre we are watching: a crime melodrama, no, a spy thriller, ah, a romantic comedy. Recommend it to cinemaphile friends. Just be sure to let them discover for themselves that it is a romantic comedy.

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