Sans Toit ni Loi (Vagabond) (Without Roof or Rule) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

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

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½ February 4, 2017
Varda explores juvenile revolt and nihilistic behaviour through the bleakest road narrative imaginable. Even if kind of formally conventional, the use of ancillary characters as givers of perspective not only is a fresh narrative devise, but also works as to exalt the desolation and misunderstanding of the protagonist. Hard journey to take, but one that is worth it.
September 11, 2016
The layout of this film has been compared to Rashmon or Citizen Kane. But what makes Vagabond different is that the viewer is forced to focus on someone who is disheveled and undesirable and develop sympathy for her. At times I would get lost as to if i was watching a work of fiction or a documentary which adds to the charm of this film.
August 28, 2016
yeni dalga, agnes varda filmi. otostop çekip sokaklarda ya?ayan genc bir k?z?n ölümle sonlanan hikayesi.. bana biraz s?k?c? geldi..
½ June 10, 2016
Interesting film with the lead character Mona serving as a mirror to the people that recall their short time with her. The film has a cool grittiness to it which adds a lot of atmosphere. This one is definitely worth checking out.
October 19, 2015
A watermark for feminist cinema. Agnes Warda's film about a young female drifter is as playful with narrative as a Jean-Luc Godard film, yet that doesn't lessen the film's impact as a tense drama about human suffering. Through an episodic structure that includes documentary-esque interviews, Varda combines her prowess as both a documentarian and storyteller to give viewers a very unique film, that is as surreal as it is palpable. A hidden gem of 80s art house cinema.
June 21, 2015
Odd, disjointed and at times Brechtian tale of a young woman wandering through the French countryside and the various trials she endures on her journey to an early grave. Stark and effective.
May 15, 2015
Here's a character who will stay with you for life. The English subtitled version delivers a powerful punch because there's not a lot of dialogue, and the photography is stunning.
½ January 4, 2015
Gritty and believable.
½ December 18, 2014
Bonnaire is excellent as a doomed homeless woman in Agnes Varda's episodic drama.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2014
Think of a road movie made by Lynne Ramsay, but with existentialist tones of Sharunas Bartas and a tone of melodrama. This rare combination describes around 55% of Varda's dark tale about a young woman found frozen in a dicth, probably dead, for then proceeding to a recollection of her anecdotes that took her to that tragic extreme.

Since her debut, Varda was always concerned more with the surroundings of the main story rather than with the story itself, or with a straightforward narrative. Films beginning with the tragedy of the protagonist for then telling the previous story normally carry some sort of point or message, and despite its increasing bleakness, Vagabond is no exception.

If we take the hypothesis stated in the previous paragraph about the surroundings mattering more than the simplicity of the story itself as true, then it is justifiable to leave the life background of Mona, the protagonist, as ambiguous. Even her personality isn't fully described or unraveled because those answers are hidden from us, maybe to avoid any sort of judgmental bias. The way she behaves with everybody is self-centered, cold and rude. No explanation is given for this attitude whatsoever. This might be the first audience filter, as some will find her character as either uninteresting or difficult to feel empathy towards her, thus preventing a stronger emotional connection. However, films dealing with this kind of isolation, reflected in the characters she meets and in the array of landscapes, normally work better if we are maintained in a level of isolation from the character as well. Not everybody will accept this in a movie, which is completely understandable.

Again, if we take the hypothesis as true, then Vabagond is much more a film about how an array of differing characters might react to the sight of a hitchhiking and homeless adolescent girl rather than a single character study, simply because of the fact that surroundings matter more. That's one of the most important traits of cinema for me: the surroundings. With a story of this nature, they could not be omitted. This is reflected by the interview segments that resembles a documentary, and what's the true purpose of a documentary if not to capture a slice of reality?

It does not reach the energy or freshness of Ramsay, or the invigorating isolation of Bartas, and the combination is not quite masterful, but it is easy to appreciate this disturbing journey as a reflection on how a person that is clearly rejecting the system she hates so much becomes a part of the system by becoming useless in this world and a burden to the people that decide to give her a roof. With no permanent roof to house her or a law to suit her interests, Vagabond is a rather thought-provoking, although pessimistic look at the consequences of rejecting a system that is bigger than our individual capabilities as a person. Outcasts, unfortunately, are meant to be destroyed in this hostile world. Not for the faint of heart.

May 1, 2014
Opening on a homeless girl frozen to death in a vineyard, this poetic road film jumps back in time to follow her & to also interview, documentary-style, those she came across in her final days. A dreary french film that is beautifully shot.
½ April 19, 2014
An interesting piece with an interesting presentation: a series of encounters with a wandering woman who was found dead in a ditch. The interview format seems slightly documentary-like, but with enough narrative in-between to get a feel for this nomadic character.
March 31, 2014
What drew me in were the questions the film provokes.
Who is this strange woman we are following? Is she destitute or is she free?
Is this film a pseudo-documentary or a radical re-imaging of Citizen Kane?
The film never answers these questions & that's why it lingered with me
December 29, 2013
Sem Teto, Nem Lei utiliza um estrutura de falso documentário e flasbacks para contar a história de uma garota que vivia na rua. O filme traz uma ótima direção de Agnès Varda e uma boa atuação naturalista de Sandrine Bonnaire.
July 17, 2013
An excellent film that leaves you questioning the way you view others. Very moving and well done. Extraordinary acting as well.
August 30, 2012
I find it difficult to write about "Vagabond." The title character Mona is cinematically brought back to life from a gruesome scene of her dead frozen body lying in a ditch by jumping back two weeks in time. But Mona isn't really a person you get to know. In the two elliptical weeks we know her for, we aren't given any real concrete answers as to why she is alone, homeless, or why she prefers things this way. As people meet her they ask similar questions, to which she just indifferently replies with affirmations of their expectations, "'sure', that's what you want to hear, right?" Her character is so indifferent to the inquiries made by others that, as an audience, we can't help but feel her indifference is also directed toward us.

So what's it about then? What makes "Vagabond" worth while? Well, this is why I find writing about "Vagabond" difficult. Agnes Varda didn't give me much to grasp onto in her film regardless of my efforts. I feel that if I was filmed while viewing "Vagabond," an outside viewer would have a more firm grasp on who I am as person than I ever did about Mona. Yet, Mona really leaves an impression that I still want to place. Perhaps this sense of confusion is what "Vagabond" is ultimately about? The film is a murder mystery after all. Sure, we know right from the start how Mona died, we know it wasn't murder committed by anyone specific and we know the lifestyle, which lead to her end, was her choice. But this doesn't stop us from asking why she died. What gave her the drive to stick to this hard lifestyle avoiding offers of a stable, safe, life? Varda never gives an answer but she did give me something....

The final moments of Vagabond are exactly what you would expect. We see Mona, her movements are slow and stiff, she's wrapped in a small blanket, I swear I can hear her teeth clatter while she shuffles her feet across the hard ground of the frozen vineyard. Mona falls, her limbs are so frozen that she can't even lift herself. There isn't a hint of regret or fear on her face, she has no words of wisdom, she's far from a vague utterance of "rosebud." Mona dies just like she lived, in the moment. I can't think of another death in film that has effected me so, I want so badly to pull Mona out of that ditch, yes, I know how stupid that sounds. Then I realize every person Mona comes across attempts to pull her out of that ditch, but unlike her halfhearted answers to personal inquiries, and human relationships, that ditch is the only truth we will ever know of Mona.
July 29, 2012
Telling the story of Mona, a woman doomed to an early grave because of the extreme form of freedom she embraces, Varda's astonishing work is poignant from start to finish.
½ July 28, 2012
Bonnaire is exceptional as a young drifter, whose free life ultimately ends up as her downfall.
July 16, 2012
Truly a difficult film to like as the protagonist of this harsh character study acts as an antagonist from start to tragic finish. There's so little to like about this gal; however, there is something quite mesmerizing knowing that Ms. Bonnaire is merely an "actress" portraying the character Mona. You'd think you were actually viewing this as a documentary of one person's tragedy! The opening scenes pretty much set the stage for this bleak tale; nevertheless, to see how this person ended up as shown at the start is quite fascinating. I think we all may have known (or encountered) a person such as she in our self-contained lives....
½ June 22, 2012
Bonnaire gives a good performance as the girl who is ultimately left unknown, and Varda's direction is a cunning mix of documentary and narrative styles that both reveal and push away. The rating is because I couldn't get into it on more than an intellectual level, but it remains a very good film.
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