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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

The titles (in the US) of the best French films, sorted by title

  Title Year
8 Women2001
Music, Comedy, Crime, Mystery
François Ozon
A Heart in Winter1992
Romance, Drama, Music
Claude Sautet
Beauty and The Beast1946
Fantasy Drama, Romance
Jean Cocteau
Belle de Jour1967
Erotic Drama
Luis Buñuel
Betty Blue1986
Romace, Drama
Jean-Jacques Beineix
Birds Of A Feather1978
Edouard Molinaro
Bitter Moon1992
Sado-masochistic Erotic Drama
Roman Polanski
Drama, Romance
Jean-Luc Godard
Children of Paradise1945
Drama, Romance
Marcel Carne
10 Cyrano de Bergerac1990
Romance, Drama
Jean-Paul Rappeneau
11 Delicatessen1991
Sci-Fi Comedy
Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet
12 Diva1981
Action Thriller, Drama
Jean-Jacques Beineix
13 French Twist1995
Josiane Balasko
14 Hidden2005
Michael Haneke
15 Hiroshima, Mon Amour1959
Romance, Drama
Alain Resnais
16 Jean de Florette1986
Drama, Modernised Greek Tragedy
Claude Berri
17 Jesus of Montreal1989
Denys Arcand
18 Jules et Jim1961
Romance, Drama
François Truffaut
19 La Controverse de Valladolid1992
History (16thC), Drama
Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe
20 La Femme Nikita1990
Crime, Thriller, Romance, Drama
Luc Besson
21 Manon of the Spring1986
Drama, Romance, modernised Greek Tragedy
Claude Berri
22 Monsieur Hire1989
Crime Thriller, Romance, Drama
Patrice Leconte
23 My Life in Pink1997
Comedy Drama
Alain Berliner
24 One Swallow Brought Spring2001
Comedy, Romance, Drama
Christian Carion
25 Queen Margot1994
History (16thC) Drama, Biography, History, Romance
Patrice Chéreau
26 Ridicule1996
History (18thC) Drama
Patrice Leconte
27 Swimming Pool2003
Psychological Thriller, Mystery Drama
François Ozon
28 The 400 Blows1959
Crime Drama
François Truffaut
29 The Big Blue1988
Drama, Romance
Luc Besson
30 The City of Lost Children1995
Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro
31 The Closet2001
Comedy Drama
Francis Veber
32 The Discrete Charm of the Bougoisie1972
Surreal Black Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Luis Buñuel
33 The Dominici Affair1973
Crime Drama Mystery
Claude Bernard-Aubert
34 The Double Life of Veronique1991
Music, Fantasy, Romance, Psychological Drama
Krzysztof Kieslowski
35 The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain2001
Comedy, Romance, Drama
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
36 The Girl On The Bridge1999
Comedy, Romance, Fantasy, Drama
Patrice Leconte
37 The Hate1995
Crime, Drama
Mathieu Kassovitz
38 The Last Metro1980
Romance, History (WW2) Drama
François Truffaut
39 The Piano Teacher2001
Drama, Music
Michael Haneke
40 The Reader1988
Mildly Erotic Comedy Fantasy
Michel Deville
41 The Return of Martin Guerre1982
History (16thC) Drama, Biography, Crime, Mystery,
Daniel Vigne
42 The Visitors1993
Fantasy, Comedy
Jean-Marie Poiré
43 Three Colors: Blue1993
Drama, Music, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski
44 Three Colors: Red1994
Drama, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski
45 Three Colors: White1994
Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski

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