Bonjour Tristesse

1958

Drama / Romance

9
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 69%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 3704

Synopsis


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June 26, 2017 at 07:07 AM

Director

Cast

David Niven as Raymond
Deborah Kerr as Anne Larson
Jean Seberg as Cecile
Martita Hunt as Philippe's Mother
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
662.25 MB
1280*544
English
NR
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 1 / 5
1.4 GB
1920*816
English
NR
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 3 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by frankwiener 7 / 10

Art Imitating Life

I wasn't planning on writing a review of this film until I read so many negative remarks of Jean Seberg's performance. Having read about Ms. Seberg's life, I couldn't help from thinking that her character, Cecile, might have experienced some of the conflicts that Seberg encountered in real life. Unlike some other reviewers, I felt that Seberg's performance added value to a production that would have otherwise lost my interest. And, yes, I liked looking at her too, even though I always felt that her boyish haircut failed to bring out the full dimensions of her feminine beauty.

The picturesque locale on the French Riviera was visually appealing, and the opulent society depicted was very stylish and glossy, even to the ostentatious point of driving huge late 50's Chryslers in France, but these attributes would not have kept me awake as the hour grew late. As much as I like Deborah Kerr, she wasn't enough to prevent me from turning away from the film, but Seberg and the intelligent, often profound words given to her by the writers maintained my curiosity. Niven's "aging playboy" character, on the other hand, was much too disagreeable and hackneyed to interest me for very long.

While Cecile never abandoned the fashionable life of wealth and high social status that she had inherited, she did seriously pause to question its artificiality, shallowness, and insincerity. Unlike most of the members of the privileged class that surrounded her on all sides, she recognized the emptiness of their values and priorities. In reading about Seberg's own life, she made the very same observations of Hollywood, stating at one point, "I never knew until I came here (to Hollywood) that someone could be really nice to you for years and hate your guts." So the young woman from Marshalltown, Iowa, who had been chosen by Otto Preminger out of 18,000 hopefuls to play "Saint Joan", finally made it to the glamorous world of fame and fortune, only to meet a very tragic end at a very young age. Like Cecile, Jean entered the flashy world of the beautiful people only to find immense dissatisfaction and sorrow in the end. I couldn't help from believing that Ms. Seberg strongly identified with the inner discord of her character, which made her performance all the more powerful and meaningful to me.

Reviewed by lasttimeisaw 7 / 10

Bonjour tristesse's reputation and mojo as a level-headed cinematic raconteur endures the test of time

Adapted from Françoise Sagan's debut novel published in 1954 when she was merely eighteen- years-old, Otto Preminger's BONJOUR TRISTESSE thrives on weaving its melodramatic tenor through the flippant precociousness of its protagonist, Cécile (Seberg), a 17-year-older gamine living with her affluent but roué father Raymond (Niven).

The film starts in Paris, in her all-out glamour and allure reflected through the monochromatic lens, Cécile and Raymond appear to be the perfect father-daughter pair, no generation gap, neither is too clingy to each other, they are like-minded and incredibly compatible, thoroughly luxuriate in their bourgeois dalliances as if nothing could ever faze them.

However, elicited by Juliette Gréco's terribly sensuous and lugubrious rendition of the titular theme song BONJOUR TRISTESSE, written by Georges Auric, Cécile's memory hacks back to one year earlier, in French Riviera, while the movie flashes back into its varicolored richness, it is a guilt- ridden recollection, - seven, is my lucky number, murmurs Cécile, but exactly, what happened last summer?

Tragedy happens, certainly, bonjour tristesse literally means hello sadness, but before that, there were happy moments, Cécile was on vacation with Raymond and his young lady friend Elsa (Demongeot, a blonde bombshell in Marilyn Monroe-ish chicness) in his villa, soon they were joined by Anne (Kerr), an old friend of Raymond's late wife, Cécile's godmother, now a divorcée, whereas Cécile found herself a new beau, Philippe (Horne), an open-faced, handsomely-built young man living nearby.

The cast must have such a great time in making this film, sunbathing, swimming, water-skiing, dining, drinking, gambling and wiggling, everything sounds like a paid holiday. Then, bang, Raymond expresses his affections to Anne and proposes to marry her, and suddenly Elsa being kicked out of the picture. The match seems perfect, even in the eyes of Cécile, maternity endearment is something very healthy for her growth and nobody could be more suitable than Anne to assume that role. But soon, the spoiled side of her nature eggs her to defy Anne's matronly discipline, and an apparently naive plan (with the help of Philippe, a fool in love, and the "brilliant" Elsa) to scuttle Raymond and Anne's marriage will go haywire and the aftermath will make Cécile rue the day.

There is something inherently vapidly in Sagon's story, but the movie retains magnificently a superficial but bewitching unpretentiousness of Raymond and Cécile, which makes them watchable, they are not intelligent people, Anne is evidently too good for them, but on the other hand, they are very much honest to themselves, the tragedy could have been avoided (there is no clarification it is an accident or a suicide, but the marriage would still hit a bumper road in a long run), in a way, Cécile's scheme only help Anne to see through Raymond's nature, so from a more cautionary aspect, the whole story seems to bear witness that we should never have the illusion that one's unconditional love can change a person, either take it wholly or leave it immediately, there is no grey area here.

Preminger really loved Seberg, after the flop of SAINT JOAN (1957), Seberg's screen debut, he didn't give her up, here he cherry-picks her a tailor-made role and unreservedly puts her in the centre of the narrative, to flesh out her elfin mischief, singular delicacy, all in a continental style, prepares her for the star-making triumph in Godard's BREATHLESS (1960).

The Niven-Kerr pair works side by side twice in a calendar year, compared with a more self- inflicted restraint in Delbert Mann's ensemble piece SEPARATE TABLES (1958), Niven is much more nonchalant as a sybarite, to quote Raymond - is silly and vain, whereas Kerr hops up with a refreshingly relaxed air of being "the unattainable Anne" during her flashy entrance, only not soon would she backtrack to the stereotype of "Raymond, I cannot be casual" seriousness, or, in Cécile's words, "the prim, prissy and prude".

Calling BONJOUR TRISTESSE a high point of Preminger or any these leading stars' coruscating careers is a far-fetched argument, however, its reputation and mojo as a level-headed cinematic raconteur endures the test of time, sleekly orchestrated by Preminger's efficient artifice and Auric's string-heavy score.

Reviewed by jhkp 7 / 10

Hello Sadness

Bonjour Tristesse is a very slight, not especially original story that Deborah Kerr brings depth to, and Preminger brings his usual sangfroid to. The locations are amazing. The cinematography is wonderful, the music is superb. I wouldn't watch it for the story as much as for the interesting take on relationships, and especially for the way the director tells the story through the camera set ups.

The acting is not always compelling. Jean Seberg and the younger actors are attractive and charming, but not brilliant. David Niven is very good. Deborah Kerr is on a different level; she gives a very polished and meaningful performance.

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