Bon Voyage

2004

Bon Voyage

Critics Consensus

It's froth, but stylish and giddily entertaining.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 97

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,304
User image

Bon Voyage Photos

Movie Info

At the start of World War II, the fate of the free world hangs in the balance at the posh Hotel Splendide in Bordeaux. Cabinet members, journalists, physicists, and spies of all persuasions gather in order to escape the Nazi occupation of Paris. High society socialites hobnob with jailbirds. Murderous intrigues, scientific secrets and love affairs flourish.

Cast

Isabelle Adjani
as Viviane Denvert
Gérard Depardieu
as Jean-Etienne Beaufort
Grégori Derangère
as Frederic Auger
Peter Coyote
as Alex Winckler
Aurore Clement
as Jacqueline de Lusse
Nicolas Pignon
as Andre Arpel
Edith Scob
as Madame Arbesault
Nicolas Vaude
as Thierry Arpel
Pierre Diot
as Maurice/Studio Attendant
Pierre Laroche
as The Erudite
Catherine Chevalier
as The Erudite's Daughter
Morgane More
as The Erudite's Granddaughter
Olivier Claverie
as Maitre Vouriot
Wolfgang Pissors
as German Agent
Jacques Pater
as Albert de Lusse
Jean-Pol Brissart
as Hotel Concierge
Vincent Nemeth
as The Maitre d'
Marie-Armelle Deguy
as The Socialite
Marie-Christine Orry
as The Salesgirl
Serpentine Teyssier
as Beaufort's Secretary
Patrick Medioni
as The Commissioner
Gary Matthews
as English Officer
Benoit Bellal
as French Policeman
Christian Drillaud
as Parliament Member #1
Michel Dubois
as Parliament Member #2
Christian Ruché
as Parliament Member #3
Jacques Roehrich
as Parliament Member #4
Robert Darmel
as Parliament Member #5
Gerard Collewaert
as Session President
View All

Critic Reviews for Bon Voyage

All Critics (97) | Top Critics (33)

  • This genre of all-star comedy-adventure-romance has traditionally gone down well in France and Bon Voyage has a really opulent professionalism, a merry sweep.

    Dec 13, 2017 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Aug 1, 2004

    David Denby

    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    May 21, 2004 | Rating: 3/5
  • 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.

    May 13, 2004 | Rating: 4/5
  • It's a rollicking adventure yarn with a stellar cast and an engaging Hitchcockian flavour.

    May 11, 2004 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Neil Smith

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • A sophisticated farce about an unlikely subject.

    May 7, 2004 | Rating: A-

Audience Reviews for Bon Voyage

  • Mar 25, 2009
    "<i>Not even Hitler wants war.</i>" There's an almost classical grace to Jean-Paul Rappeneau's wartime comedy <i>Bon Voyage</i>, the Cesar-winning effort starring two of the greatest French Film stars of the last 30 years, Isabelle Adjani and Gerard Depardieu. And, as far as classical grace goes when making a comedy, it delivers... although its pleasures, to be honest, are reminiscent less of a bubbly champagne and more of a refined, unadorned table wine. <a href="http://s172.photobucket.com/albums/w25/EarthlyAlien/?action=view¤t=bonvoyage.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w25/EarthlyAlien/bonvoyage.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> Distinctively European in rhythm and almost quaint in its period detailing, the film never manages more than a few chuckles - and yet, there's a gentle elegance pervading every frame that is consistently engaging, even when the storyline occasionally loses its firm footing. Perhaps it is because <i>Bon Voyage</i> is a paean to the glamorized war films of the 1940s, or perhaps because it reminds its audiences of star sirens and Hollywood's Golden Age. Whatever the case, Rappeneau has created an immensely pleasant comic diversion that has the rare effect of getting better in one's memory. I've seen it twice so far, and I already can't wait to watch it again. All of the elements, of course, are meant exactly for this manipulation. Gabriel Yared, the exemplary Oscar-winning composer of <i>The English Patien</i>, <i>The Talented Mr. Ripley</i>, contributes his most lush, romantic score yet to <i>Bon Voyage</i>, playing upon historical Hollywood formulas which extravagantly embellish each moment. Thierry Arbogast, the noted cinematographer who lensed most of Luc Besson's films, clearly shared Yared's passion for 1940s cinematic melodrama; whether having lovers run in the rain, meet on a beach, or run from hired thugs through the forests, every scene could have been easily mistaken for a romantic thriller made sixty years ago. "<i>Casablanca</i> in colour" would be a nice way to sell it. Perhaps the most unique element, then, to <i>Bon Voyage</i> is that many of the performances (but not all) feel quite contemporary. Is this Rappeneau's choice, or simply an oversight? It makes no matter, even when Adjani, as the aging screen starlet Viviane Denvers, seems to be channeling early Norma Shearer while her co-star Grégori Derangère, makes his writer-slash-romantic-doormat Frédéric Auger seem like a new-generation, Nora Ephron-inspired sensitive hero. In Hollywood equivalence, <i>Bon Voyage</i> would star Greta Garbo and Tom Hanks. Although there is a jarring disconnect in the performance styles, the film itself never waivers from its period roots. As World War II looms and German forces threaten to occupy France, Viviane and Frédéric are fleeing Paris to Bordeaux, where the French government is convening in exile. Viviane finds security in the arms of Beaufort (Depardieu), a French minister who is trying to save his country while drooling all over the actress, and Alex Winckler (Peter Coyote), a German spy posing as a journalist. Meanwhile, the disconsolate Frédéric begins to fall for Camille (the lovely Virginie Ledoyen), an impassioned student who is trying to get her professor's politically important science experiments out of the country. <i>Bon Voyage</i> is not as maniacally joyful as this circuitous plot may sound; indeed, where it perhaps should be zany, it is merely convoluted. The singular shining light of the ensemble, as she's been her entire life, is Isabelle Adjani, who leaves nothing to chance in her outsized portrayal of Viviane. Unable to stop acting on screen or off, Viviane is a compendium of self-contained manipulations. To get what she wants, she will either conform or confound the stereotypes of femininity to achieve her immediate goals; however, long-term goals (or thought) evades her in almost every instance, creating some delightful comic moments. Here's a woman who runs through three men in the course of ten minutes... to find a better hotel room. As for Depardieu, he brings a balance of charm and intimidation to a character that could have been a disaster in the hands of a less accomplished actor. Ledoyen and Derangère both exude passion and verve, and Coyote proves to be significantly more versatile than previous roles might suggest. Posh, stylish, and with very little going on in its head, <i>Bon Voyage</i> is neither as dizzying nor as little entertaining as it could be. The nature and style of Rappeneau's classicism should, in theory, be at odds with its languid pace and divergent genre-hopping (romantic comedy becomes noir mystery becomes political drama), but it somehow works in his favour. It's a tribute to Rappeneau's talent and understanding of the medium - as well as his remarkable team - that the film remains such a fun, charming, and compulsively watchable affair.
    Pedro P Super Reviewer
  • Sep 09, 2007
    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.
    Tsubaki S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 07, 2005
    [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][/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] [font=Century Gothic][color=#808000][/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=#808000][/color][/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 12, 2005
    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! [img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v625/TerraBrain/allhailKingHomer.gif[/img]
    Neum D Super Reviewer

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