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Bonjour Tristesse

Bonjour Tristesse (1958)

tomatometer

71

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

69

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,589

My Rating

Movie Info

Francoise Sagan's bittersweet novel Bonjour Tristesse is given a sumptuous Riviera-filmed screen treatment. David Niven plays a wealthy playboy, the father of teenaged libertine-in-the-making Jean Seberg. Seberg tolerates most of her father's mistresses, but doesn't know what to make of the prudish Deborah Kerr, who will not cohabit with Niven until after they're married. Feeling that her own relation with her father will be disrupted by Kerr's presence, Seberg does her malicious best to break

Unrated,

Drama, Romance, Classics

Françoise Sagan, Arthur Laurents

Dec 16, 2003

Sony Pictures Entertainment

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (3) | DVD (6)

The final shot is one of the most convincingly grief-stricken in cinema.

August 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Niven and Kerr keenly satirize their onscreen iconographies-the cad and the goody-goody, respectively-but it's Seberg who cuts deepest.

April 24, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Otto Preminger's formally dazzling 1958 film is an edifice constructed of contrasts.

April 24, 2012 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Script deficiencies and awkward reading -- some lines are spoken as though just that -- have static results.

October 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The flirtation with incest at the centre of this adaptation of Françoise Sagan's novel is tame by modern standards, but the evil scheming of Seberg as the daughter set on separating her father and his mistress is still forceful.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A bomb.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jean Seberg is as captivating as ever in Otto Preminger's newly restored 1958 drama.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Underneath the endless round of parties and nightclubs, there is a desperate, secret sadness, and Seberg's stare at the camera is haunting.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

Contrasting the picture-perfect backdrop, Saul Bass' title sequence and Juliette Gréco's rendition of the title song add to the melancholy.

August 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

...palpably overlong...

November 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

It's almost like a game, the kind that seems funny until someone gets hurt.

May 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Misunderstood at the time and still underappreciated, this 1958 glossy melodrama improves on Sagan's French novella, displaying Preminger's best qualities as auteur, moral ambiguity, detached, nonjudgmental approach, not to mention smooth visuals.

July 14, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Has a glacial tone that gets covered with a lobster red French Riviera sunburn.

December 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Kerr, of course, is a standout talent in spite of script deficiencies, and Demongeot plays the role of a silly blonde well. The Riviera scenes are rich in eye appeal and Kerr's chic costuming by Givenchy adds another plus.

October 23, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

While some may be put off by Preminger's glossy presentation of the idle rich, his direction in Bonjour Tristesse engages the mind while it stimulates the senses.

January 9, 2004 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Among favorite cinephile pet auteurs, no one's reputation has had a rougher ride than that of Otto Preminger's.

December 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

he overall ambiguity of the film and its refusal to make judgements mark it as ahead of its time, while the cast are first-rate, particularly Seberg, veering between impishly mischievous and spookily sinister.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Hollywood soap opera at its best, nicely done and still entertaining after many decades.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Audience Reviews for Bonjour Tristesse

[font=Century Gothic]In "Bonjour Tristesse," Cecile(Jean Seberg) is the 17-year old daughter of Raymond(David Niven), a wealthy businessman. They are also the best of friends who are having fun on their summer holiday in the south of France. She has met a young man, Philippe(Geoffrey Horne), while Raymond's guest, Elsa(Mylene Demongeot), is enjoying herself, too. Into this happy household, he forgot that he had also invited Anne(Deborah Kerr), Cecile's godmother.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Made in 1958, "Bonjour Tristesse" is clearly ten years ahead of its time but we are still only in 1968. In the interim, the movie has not aged well and could have definitely used more of an edge. It chronicles a time when it was becoming hip that parents could be hip but wonders at what cost?(These are noble sentiments which are unnecessarily voiced by the characters themselves.) Raymond has been a spectacularly bad role model for Cecile but Anne shows promise as she is herself a successful fashion designer who wants Cecile to study for her exams.(I do believe in parental responsibility but not societal responsibility.) Cecile has other ideas, simply wanting to play in the moment and be supported by men in the future. [/font]
January 11, 2008
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

You can forgive David Niven in the shorty shorts with such a great story to tell. Here we have the ultimate father daughter relationship where party dad lives younger than his age much to the delight of his offspring. when it appears that daddy will actually grow up and start a new life with Deborah Kerr..well..watch the sparks fly. Great Preminger.
January 30, 2013
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Buenos días, tristeza (ES)
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