Bon Voyage (2004)
The last frantic days before the Germans seized France in 1940 provide an unlikely backdrop for this dark comedy. Viviane (Isabelle Adjani) is a glamorous and well-known film actress who attracts the attentions of many men -- often many she has no interest in knowing. One night, at a reception following the premiere of her latest picture, Viviane finds herself pursued by Beaufort (Gérard Depardieu), a government official whose girth exceeds his charm. To throw him off her trail, Viviane allows a cranky older man, André Arpel (Nicolas Vaude), to escort her home. During the evening, Viviane and André quarrel, and after slapping him, she discovers that he has simply dropped dead. An understandably terrified Viviane calls a former boyfriend, Frédéric Roger (Grégori Derangère), and asks him to help her get rid of the body. In hopes of reviving their romance, he agrees, but after an auto accident, Frédéric is caught with the body, and is taken to jail to await his trial. When word gets out that German troops are due to arrive in Paris at any minute, Frédéric and his fellow prisoners are instructed they're to be moved out of town; Frédéric is handcuffed to petty thief Raoul (Yvan Attal), and en route the two are able to make their escape. When Frédéric learns that Viviane has fled to Bordeaux, along with much of the French upper crust, he makes his way there, where he finds he has a new rival for her affections -- Beaufort, who no longer seems such a poor prospect. … More
- PG-13 (for some violence)
- Drama , Art House & International , Comedy
- Directed By:
- Jean-Paul Rappeneau
- Written By:
- Gilles Marchand , Gilles Marhand , Patrick Modiano , Julien Rappeneau , Jerome Tonnerre
- In Theaters:
- Mar 19, 2004 Limited
- On DVD:
- Aug 17, 2004
- Box Office:
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Critic Reviews for Bon Voyage
No more than a shallow, style-mad entertainment, but it never flags or loses its balance, and, despite the theatricality of the staging and the acting, it's precisely the materiality of the cinema ... that makes us devour it with pleasure.
If you like to read subtitles or comprehend French and the beautiful people who speak it, Bon Voyage is a perfectly delightful time-killer at the movies.
Not only does the plot have the required twists and the action keep us at the edge of our seats, but the story is populated with interesting and believable characters.
A strong diva-whore portrayal by Isabelle Adjani and fine sense of time and place give Voyage just enough grounding to make it worth the trip.
Despite the film's undeniable virtues, I can't help wishing there were something more substantial there than an old-fashioned and admittedly engaging yarn.
Although visually appealing, the movie is too cavalier and shallow for its more weighty subject matter.
Are you ready for a World War II, romantic, murder-in-Act-One, escape-from-the-Nazis, French farce?
Bon Voyage has much to commend it - but by the time it is over, you will be more likely to bid it a relieved 'adieu' than a dewy-eyed 'au revoir'.
A nonstop, peripatetic, neo Hitchcockian farce...captures the chaos of a government in ruin.
...grand, intelligent, confident and adult -- which is just another way of saying that it is very French, in all the best ways.
If blockbusters leave you cold, then this is one trip well worth taking.
Adjani has suddenly hit her stride; you can hope - and I do - that a great career is being born at last in this arresting actress.
This is no heavy drama about the Nazi occupation of France, but a witty story about a group of people making do under those circumstances.
A film with a lot of energy -- more energy than substance, in fact. An average trip for hardcore foreign film aficionados.
Never quite worked even as a fluff film meant only for escapist entertainment.
Bon Voyage has been sumptuously mounted, with spectacular cinematography and a lush (perhaps overly so) musical score by Gabriel Yared ... that's a throwback to '30s moviemaking.
The dense plotting and a comic insensitivity just this side of Hogan's Heroes leave Bon Voyage an enervating experience.
This Hitchcock like French film taking place during World War II buildup is excellent.
It's all about as believable as those comic shorts in which The Three Stooges smacked around Adolph Hitler -- and no less entertaining.
...a film drenched in rich character and drunk with the buffoonery of life amid chaos and circumstance. It's a rousing Gallic gem.
Audience Reviews for Bon Voyage
Fun film, not too sweet and neither too melodramatic. Good casting too in everyone from Depardieu to Derrangere. And of course, Adjani and Ledoyen are the type of eye candy i wish i could see more in movies.More
[font=Century Gothic][color=olive]Escape is a major theme in "Bon Voyage". The movie starts out and ends in a movie theatre with people watching a lighthearted film. At the beginning of the film, it is on the verge of World War II. And most of the movie takes place after the Germans have invaded France. There are two competing plotlines with a young writer who has just escaped from jail moving between the two. 1) a famous actress is seeking to stay ahead of the German army. 2) an old professor and his assistants are seeking to make it out of the country with their notes and a car full of heavy water. There are a couple of contrasts between the storylines - an independent woman vs a subordinate woman(the independent actress is seen as being selfish; she is also older than the assistant); being placid vs. resistance.[/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=#808000]"Bon Voyage" is a frenetically paced movie for most of its running time but it does go on too long, as one of the plotlines runs out of steam. It is hard to believe how some of the characters are so self-absorbed in the face of crisis. Usually, people will stop for a second after the crisis, have some tea and then go back being so engrossed in their own lives. Plus, there is an inordinately high level of coincedence at work here.[/color][/font]
How does memory capture beauty? How is it recalled in the mind? If beauty is a truth, and truth only in the moment, can beauty still be beauty if it's inside a memory? Maybe the way beauty is documented in the mind is that it can't be totally recalled, but one can intellectually acknowledge that it was beauty once experienced, and an imprint of the feeling that one experiences with beauty remains forever with you. I think that beauty almost gains meaning by traversing across time through human consciousness, via art or nature or human quality, and in that way it becomes eternal.
You must forgive me, as living on my own often permits the voices in my head to wander in halves, skipping about my room and tossing clothes and old receipts around, arguing with the other half. As fun as that sounds, it actually turns into a lot of questioning, and it stifles me. Though it may produce a nifty thought, I find that it can suppress my emotions, and I feel vacant and longing. Like my heart and soul got scroonched all cartoon-like into a small milkjar. *unscrews cap and smacks bottom of bottle*
In states like that, I need senses to synchronize and attack...so I can feel something. Have you ever felt moved when you hear a certain song that reminds you of a good memory, and combined with the joy of where you're at when you hear the song again (or with what you're doing), and perhaps other (somewhat) positive factors surrounding your life at that moment, you feel...heightened? Hyper-sensitive, hyper-aware maybe. Doesn't happen so often, but it can happen. There are times for me when a song or an image or sometimes even a smell can trigger many memories, and I see them all at once, like a lightning bolt zapping a clear path through my memory and crashing to the floor. My eyes become a balance of introversion and extroversion - they are a collage of these old memories, but they are what they're seeing at the moment as well. And the song goes on. The dance goes on. The flavor goes on. It all builds to a crescendo of energy and nostalgia and of beauty, whatever it is, and you feel like you might erupt from your body in a burst of blood, brains and magic.
Then it ends. The alien turns down the knobs, and returns to dormancy.
I don't know. I wish there was an easier way to arrive to that thinking. But, the emergence of sunshine this past week really put me in high spirits, and it has got my voices questioning my love of winter (though it's not my favorite). Maybe I just didn't realize what these dull months were doing to me. Especially in California. I swear, thanks to the climate, time is a whole new entity in this state. I walked out of the movie theater last night and thought it was July. And the weather here seems to completely forget about Christmas. Mother Nature and Father Time have forged a bond...to trick the souls of the Great Left Coast into bounding across the calendar and losing all track of reality. And I am one of their limp-limbed test puppets.
If anybody knows their Guess Who...[i]"It's the neeew Mother Nature taking over..."[/i]
In other news: Today is my 3-year anniversary of posting on RottenTomatoes. As decreed by Neumthor...Bow! Bow to your Golden King!
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