Friday, January 1, 2010
girl on the bridge (1999)
In his magical, erotic eighteenth feature, French director Patrice Leconte (RIDICULE, MONSIEUR HIRE) captivates viewers from the first elegant black and white frame. In the prologue, fragile beauty Adele (Vanessa Paradis) recounts her wayward, sadly promiscuous past in a comically matter-of-fact manner. Despite the lighthearted telling, Adele sees her life (all twenty-two years of it) as a tragic run of bad luck, leading her to a bridge on the Seine. She is saved from suicide by the arrival of Gabor (Daniel Auteuil) who jumps in after her. After the rescue, Gabor whisks Adele away to be the new assistant for his knife-throwing act. She blooms under his tutelage, and Gabor reaches new heights of his craft conceding that before Adele, he too, was lost. They happily traverse the Mediterranean, performing for thrilled crowds, and find they share a mystical, telepathic bond that comes in handy in casinos. As their feelings deepen, the knife-act becomes an erotic substitute, fraught with sexual tension (particularly in the beautiful scene beneath a railway bridge set to Marianne Faithful). Will the two realize in time that like the torn half of a dollar bill that Gabor gives Adele, each is useless apart? [Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Vanessa Paradis, Mireille Mosse, Catherine Lascault. Director: Patrice Leconte.