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Sans Toit ni Loi (Vagabond) (Without Roof or Rule) (1985)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0

audience

84

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 1,587

My Rating

Movie Info

Vagabond, directed by Agnes Varda is the dark disturbing story of a female drifter named Mona (Sandrine Bonnaire). The film opens as Mona's frozen body is found in a drainage ditch and proceeds to tell her story in a series of flashbacks and semi-documentary style "interviews" with the people who have known Mona during the last few weeks of her life. Mona is a distant, independent and not-very-likeable woman who goes from place to place, living where she can and with anyone who will take her in.

R,

Art House & International, Drama

Agnès Varda

May 16, 2000

Pacific Arts Video

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All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (0) | DVD (6)

The road movie takes a somber turn in this austerely beautiful 1985 French drama by Agnes Varda.

April 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A masterpiece, clearly one of the finest films in many a year.

January 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A striking film -- one that feels like it was made at least 10 years earlier -- and, I must note, a fairly depressing one.

March 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Gets a stellar performance from Bonnaire.

March 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Agnes Varda's anatomy of a female vagabond, beautifully played by Sandrine Bonnaire, is captivating, haunting and uncompromising.

October 21, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

shows how there's an inherent brutality to living without rules... without ever devolving into melodrama or didacticism

July 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Varda alludes to both Citizen Kane and the Bible to recreate the short, disconnected life of Mona, a lost soul who has always depended on the kindness of strangers.

April 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

Visually beautiful, tragic drama.

December 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

Focuses on the life and difficulties of a female drifter who enjoys solitude and a no-strings attached relationship with the people she encounters.

September 1, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Taken as an examination of how we watch and react to the films (and the real people) that we see, it becomes transcendent.

March 24, 2002 Full Review Source: MovieMartyr.com
MovieMartyr.com

Audience Reviews for Sans Toit ni Loi (Vagabond) (Without Roof or Rule)

Pursuing the roads for purpose, meaning, and acceptance. A subjective examination of a pernicious interpretation of freedom, Vagabond is an Agnès Varda character examination that simply observes and appreciates, mostly dependent on the outstanding performance of a young Sandrine Bonnaire as Mona Bergeron. Outstanding.
September 22, 2011
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

it's a beautiful film, perhaps a little too poetic in it's view of homelessness. definite tones of' 'into the wild' in other characters' envy of the heroine's freedom. i loved how varda framed shots but was a little annoyed at characters breaking the fourth wall. sandrine bonnaire is excellent, well worth a watch
July 18, 2011
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

A teenage girl is found frozen to death in a ditch on a winter morning in rural France. Through flashbacks and interviews, the rest of the film shows the audience how she got there. It's not a happy or pretty story, but it's a story worth experiencing.

The film follows this young woman, named Simone "Mona" Bergeron, as she travels on foot across Southern France. We watch as she encounters others such as herself, and others who are not like her at all. She drinks too much, uses drugs, has sex seemingly indiscriminately, seems to have no goals or plans other than life on the road. She reveals a few desires along the way, such as wanting to have a potato farm and wanting a relationship with someone, but when both opportunities present themselves, she does not make use of them. We are never told any more about her, where she is from, if she is running away or running to, and from or to what. The people who knew her along the way discuss her only in the barest of details, in that they don't know any more than we do about her. There are several scenes of people judging Mona based on her outward appearance. Yes, they are correct in some instances, but somehow they still come across as clods for thinking that way.

I've always found Southern France to be beautiful, with its quaint towns, wide fields of lavender, grapes and sunflowers, and fountains. However, in director Agnes Varda's hands, this open landscape turns into something desolate and unfriendly, cold to all but the most privileged of its citizens, but yet still beautiful. It is very much a metaphor for Mona's life.
With the exception of a few characters -- Madame Landier the agronomist, Yolande, Jean-Pierre and his delightful old aunt Lydie -- only Mona is given any real screen time. Sandrine Bonnaire won a Cesar (the French Academy Award) for her portrayal of this down-and-out young woman. She was only 18 at the time, and she does a wonderful job of making Mona both sympathetic and distasteful -- we are told she smells bad, she is lazy and rarely it seems that she appreciates the things people do to help her. But yet you still want her to succeed, even though we know from the very beginning that she won't. Bonnaire resembles a young brunette Jeanne Moreau, so much so that I researched to see if there was any familial connection (I didn't find anything.)

You might want to save this film for another time if you are feeling in any way down or lonely. But don't forget about it. You may be saddened, but you won't be disappointed.
July 21, 2010
webalina

Super Reviewer

An interesting French film, one that is in many ways meant as an answer to Citizen Kane. Like Kane, the film begins with the central character?s death and then tells that person?s life story through flashbacks remembered by various people she met. The difference is that instead of telling the story of a millionaire it tells the story of a homeless woman. Of course, this isn?t anywhere near as great as Citizen Kane, but it is an interesting take on that film?s format. The things that happen to the vagabond are not spectacularly interesting in and of themselves, but they form an interesting portrait. The ultimate irony, is that in many ways this vagabond is much happier when she dies than Charles Foster Kane could have ever dreamed to be.
May 11, 2008
Dracula787
MJS MJS

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Sans Toit ni Loi (DE)
  • Vagabond (UK)
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