Breathless Reviews

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½ May 23, 2015
December 20, 2014
Breathless is a undisputed classic from french new wave moment which really revolutionized modern cinema. Jean-Paul Belmondo was fabulous but the most amazing thing about this classic are it's memorable dialogues, jump cuts and excellent characterization of both leading actors.
April 6, 2015
Jean-Luc Godard's highly innovative debut film was groundbreaking for its age, and while it may not feel as novel today, it's certainly just as enjoyable as ever. Inspired by American crime dramas, but told through an unconventional narrative propelled by an adventurous editing style, Breathless is certainly weird but it's plot is fully contiguous. The dialogue in the film still sparkles to this day, which references both pop-culture and high art, and the film sublimely blurs the divide between American and French culture like virtually no other existing film. The French New Wave didn't start here, but Godard certainly made the style a whole lot cooler!
January 20, 2015
So stunningly beautiful and precisely filmed that it is almost hard to focus on the deft screenplay and radiating beauty of Jean Seberg in this classic poignant French masterpiece.
January 20, 2015
Pelìcula innovadora en su època que da inicio al movimiento nouvelle vague del cine francès , aunque a muchos no les guste es una pelicula refrescante con una hermosa fotografìa , banda sonora y unos protagonistas inolvidables .Este año se cumplen 50 años de su estreno.
½ January 4, 2015
Breathless has exquisite direction from Jean-Luc Godard, great performances and charisma of Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, wonderful cinematography and art direction and solid score, but all those great technical aspects do not make a great film and this movie is no exception; it lacks in the storytelling department with a script that never feels interesting nor good enough thus never achieving the masterpiece status it is supposed to achieve.
December 19, 2014
It's a chaotic and relatively fun film, although the characters and not particularly edifying and the dialogue loses its way with boring scenes. It's a pretty narcissistic world, selling itself as cool and stylish. And so despite itself, it's a tragedy.
December 9, 2014
My second film by Godard. Absolutely fantastic, so natural.
December 2, 2014
Breathless is an enthralling inspiring film and a fun ride i won't soon be forgetting
November 25, 2014
a horrible film. may be revolutionary at the time but that does not excuse it for being incredibly boring, awful dialogue, irritating editing and possibly the worst soundtrack i have ever heard. the only redeeming quality is its main actor. apart from thats its just tragic
November 9, 2014
Told with boldness and poetry. "Breathless" deepens into the soul.
October 2, 2014
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September 21, 2014
This is a classic film that helped usher in the "French New Wave". It's only my 2nd time viewing it, but I appreciated it more this time. It's hard to believe the film is over 50 years old, it feels so fresh and alive, and looks outstanding on Blu-ray. This film is a must not only for cinephiles, but I think for anyone in general, a definite MUST watch!
August 24, 2014
Fantastically shot with some very interesting angles. Intelligently scripted. A gritty movie that packs a powerful punch.
½ August 14, 2014
I just didn't connect with this and was left feeling bored from beginning to end.
August 10, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Breathless has been pressured on me for quite some time now. My best friend, who had to see this for one of his film-related classes, has asked me a couple of times on whether or not I have yet seen the film? The main reason why I am seeing this film for the first time now, is that I was waiting for a local Blu-Ray release and patiently hoping its price would drop to a more affordable and reasonable level. I have always been intimidated with this film, as with every prestigious list I find, this film seems to be always present in the higher rankings. But at the same time, I have been able to stumble upon some nay-sayers and stating the negative qualities of this film, which certainly helped in keeping my expectations in neutral. Now that I have seen the film, does it reach the level that many claim it to be? Personally, no, but it does deliver enough to keep me satisfied.

The first thing that came to my mind when going through this film is how similar it is to an early Quentin Tarantino film. It delivers a plot that physically drives its characters but the film's core is found elsewhere. It is due to the film's characters and the style that the director, Jean-Luc Godard, employs to shape them, that I was able to keep myself entertained. Also, similar to a Tarantino film, it takes more than one sitting to fully appreciate or have a solid opinion on the film, as it doesn't spoon-feed the audience, and relies on patience and thorough observation from the viewer. From this initial viewing, I was able to appreciate the complex and complicated relationship between the two protagonists. Godard established the characters and their relationships in the first act, and therefore hooks the audience in and hungry for more information in order to understand these individuals.

As expected from a film in the French New Wave, Breathless was entirely shot on location. Godard has captured that sense of authenticity in its setting, allowing the audience to be totally immersed and believe that what is being seen and the characters we are watching are truth rather than fiction. Godard's style is certainly different from what Truffaut delivered in The 400 Blows, as Truffaut used his location to create atmosphere and mood, while also reflecting the feelings of the protagonist. If there was one thing about the film's photography I could praise, its ability to capture long takes and allowing the camera to constantly follow its subjects, while also allowing the actors have a sense of freedom and space in their performance; they are not restricted to a tightly constructed set like in Hollywood films, even the interior settings in this film are captured in such a way that creates a feeling of openness and reality that it had me feeling like a third person in the room. The film also featured a brilliant method in editing that ensured the film's length to be cramped onto 90 minutes but also maintaining the flow of the film, ensuring that the audience won't feel disorientated; Godard uses jump cuts to remove small sections of the one long take, jumping from the actor's line to the next.

Breathless features a score that incorporates elements of Jazz to give the film a stylistic flair. The music plays a big role in shaping the film's tone and the character, because of the film's music, I was able to see the protagonist as a cool and slick individual rather than the scum he truly is. It allowed me to feel empathetic for the man and his goals. The music has also changed my perspective of Paris, letting me see the city in a whole different light; now, I am able to see the city also as this groovy and down to earth place, rather than just the pretentious and emotionally heavy perspective that I have always affiliated with.

Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg's chemistry in this film is wonderful. I could watch and listen both of them exchange dialogue for hours, as they bring so much charm in their performances that one can't help but feel attached to them. They don't attempt to deliver so much from their performances, as Godard wants them to display simplicity to show that they are authentic figures and he understands that showing less would speak more for the characters and allows the audience to be more than just distant and careless spectators but rather be engaged and empathetic viewers.

This is definitely not the final time I would be writing about Breathless, as I intend to come back, learn and understand everything about the film. It may not have captivated me, the same way that The 400 Blows did, but Breathless has planted its seed and I am just waiting for it to grow and produce fruits for me to feast on.
August 5, 2014
This is the film that is often credited for kicking off the French New Wave movement. If you like crime films and want to see where YouTube jump cuts first started, try a Godard film. Try Breathless. It may leave you as such. Or you'll just find it crazy how a scene cuts and then suddenly someone has crossed the screen and entered a hug without ever seeing the walk in between. #History
July 25, 2014
Jean-Luc Godard's stylishly crafted masterpiece chronicling the romantic escapades of a tortured fugitive. It's beautiful, entertaining, and poignant. One of the best movies ever made.
January 25, 2013
enchanted by the music, & the locations. This one is my absolute passion!
June 13, 2014
Godard's first feature is an entertaining film for what it is, but an all out classic for what it represents.

Admittedly, the stylistic limberness with editing and continuity can be a bit jarring at times. However, the economy with which Godard captures this story is impressive. The efficiency of what is depicted here becomes as interesting as the most decadent production on the other side of the spectrum.

The moral contrast between Jean Seberg and her man is interesting, allowing for thematic grey area and nuance. Her character is a femme fatale of sorts, though not of the conventional noir aesthetic of one. It's also interesting to me that the moments of violence occur in action and the dialog tends to be in the realm of the everyday. It's possibly partially a result of the dialog being written the morning of its shooting, along with generous leeway for improvisation. I also loved getting a snapshot of 1959 Paris.

Technically, it's effectively shot, with wise use of handheld and little to no lighting. The jump cuts were executed well for the most part, which lends the action a pared down thrust that more conventionally edited films can only approach. I hope to someday approach the minimalist technical enthusiasm of this piece.

While not a perfect film, it remains fresh 54 years after release. Godard's energy is evident and his willingness to break from and critique convention in a hyper-efficient, clean way, is an inspiration to this day. (13 June 2014)
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