Bonjour Tristesse (1958)
In this film, 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 and does her malicious best to break up the relationship.
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Critic Reviews for Bonjour Tristesse
The final shot is one of the most convincingly grief-stricken in cinema.
Niven and Kerr keenly satirize their onscreen iconographies-the cad and the goody-goody, respectively-but it's Seberg who cuts deepest.
Otto Preminger's formally dazzling 1958 film is an edifice constructed of contrasts.
Script deficiencies and awkward reading -- some lines are spoken as though just that -- have static results.
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.
Jean Seberg is as captivating as ever in Otto Preminger's newly restored 1958 drama.
Underneath the endless round of parties and nightclubs, there is a desperate, secret sadness, and Seberg's stare at the camera is haunting.
Contrasting the picture-perfect backdrop, Saul Bass' title sequence and Juliette Gréco's rendition of the title song add to the melancholy.
It's almost like a game, the kind that seems funny until someone gets hurt.
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.
Has a glacial tone that gets covered with a lobster red French Riviera sunburn.
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.
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.
Among favorite cinephile pet auteurs, no one's reputation has had a rougher ride than that of Otto Preminger's.
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.
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]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]
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.More
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