Girl On The Bridge

"OK"

Girl On The Bridge Review


Movies about beautiful young women trying to find themselves are not uncommon, and neither are movies about September-May romances. But while the French import "Girl on the Bridge" could be crowbarred into one or both of these genres, to do so would be a disservice to this film since there is nothing whatsoever common about it.

A lyrical, almost surreal musing on fate and the roles people play in each others' lives, it's the story of a peculiarly symbiotic relationship between an impulsive, suicidal girl (French model/singer/actress Vanessa Paradis) and a fatigued, melancholy stranger who rescues her from jumping off a bridge by showing her how her luck can change.

The stranger (Daniel Auteuil, "Lucie Aubrac") is a knife thrower by trade and he has a weird habit of recruiting as his assistants troubled women who literally have nothing to lose. After all, if you're about to jump to your death anyway, what's a few knives tossed at your head?

The intense, kindly, haggard Gabor (Auteuil) rescues the wounded, manic Adele (Paradis) and she becomes part of his act, putting her life in his hands night after night in increasingly dangerous performances that become an intimate, eroticized substitute for sex in their romantic, but non-physical, relationship.

Intense and absorbing, "Girl on the Bridge" is something of a tarnished fairy tale awash in symbolism and sensuality as Gabor guides the still-tender Adele to Monaco and other exotic locales for knife-throwing gigs in casinos and circuses. Director Patrice Leconte ("Monsieur Hire," "Ridicule") lends the film an enigmatic magical realism through the almost clairvoyant connection between these spiritual lovers and through shooting this vaguely modern story in brisk black-and-white cinematography.

Leconte takes a few artistic and narrative missteps that keep "Girl" from realizing its full potential (for example, the sexualization of the knife throwing eventually borders on absurd). But the investment in the characters is complete enough that if you get wrapped up in the story, such problems are largely forgivable.

Stern, sad, frayed but in may ways profound, Gabor is compelling, in part because as he comes to realize how much he cares for Adele, the audience realizes he is more lonely, lost and desperate than any of these "basket cases broken beyond repair" that he saves from themselves to become his assistants. Auteuil won a César award for this performance, and it was well deserved.

Paradis keeps pace, though, with her yielding, naked portrayal of Adele's deep insecurities and her continuing reliance on the affections of men for emotional validation (at a circus in Monaco she goes to bed with a contortionist).

And when she begins to back away from her relationship from Gabor, their metaphysical connection only grows.

Because of a few sudden and awkward turns in the last reels, "Girl on the Bridge" feels a little wanting when the credits roll -- as if something important might have been left out. But that slight disappointment fades, leaving mostly potent, penetrating memories of the film's depth and luminosity.



Girl On The Bridge

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 31st March 1999

Distributed by: Paramount Classics

Production compaines: Hugo Haas Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 36 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Hugo Haas as David, Beverly Michaels as Clara, Robert Dane as Mario, Anthony Jochim as Mr. Cooper, John Close as Harry, Darr Smith as Councilman

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.