7.6/10
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64 user 70 critic

La fille sur le pont (1999)

It's night on a Paris bridge. A girl leans over Seine River with tears in her eyes and a violent yearning to drown her sorrows. Out of nowhere someone takes an interest in her. He is Gabor,... See full summary »

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(dialogue), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Frédéric Pfluger ...
Contortionist
Demetre Georgalas ...
Takis
Catherine Lascault ...
Irene
Isabelle Petit-Jacques ...
Bride
Mireille Mossé ...
Miss Memory
Didier Lemoine ...
TGV Ticket Conductor
Bertie Cortez ...
Kusak
Stéphane Metzger ...
Italian Waiter
Claude Aufaure ...
Suicide Victim
Farouk Bermouga ...
TGV Waiter
Nicolas Donato ...
Mr. Loyal
Enzo Etokyo ...
Italian Megaphone
Giorgios Gatzios ...
Barker
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Storyline

It's night on a Paris bridge. A girl leans over Seine River with tears in her eyes and a violent yearning to drown her sorrows. Out of nowhere someone takes an interest in her. He is Gabor, a knife thrower who needs a human target for his show. The girl, Adele, has never been lucky and nowhere else to go. So she follows him. They travel along the northern bank of the Mediterranean to perform and in the process win a big fortune through gambling. Although both of them continue a platonic relationship, the sex-starved girl attempts to sleep with handsome guys she encounters throughout the journey. Finally, Adele falls in love with a newly-wed groom and both of them elope to Greece, while Gabor is stuck in Turkey. Then Adele is dumped by the groom. Only by now both Gabor and Adele realize that luck isn't with them unless they get together again. But both of them are so broke that they can't even feed themselves, let alone getting back to Paris and reunite... Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

seine | greece | tears | knife | love | See All (154) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

31 March 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Girl on the Bridge  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$66,567 (USA) (28 July 2000)

Gross:

$1,708,496 (USA) (5 January 2001)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening sequence lasts for more than 7 minutes with a monologue by Vanessa Paradis. In the DVD commentary, director 'Patrice Leconte' says that a single shot was necessary using several cameras. See more »

Goofs

In the hospital where Adele and Gabor bet on the fly, the wagered watch is on the desk before Gabor hands it to Adele. In the next shot the watch is back on the desk. See more »

Quotes

Adèle: Learn to lose, or you'll take wining for granted.
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Soundtracks

Malditos celos
Written by Rafael Hernández
Performed by Noro Morales
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User Reviews

Pretty to watch, 2 knives out of 5
2 May 2000 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

REVIEW Basically a 'two hander' for the leads, this is the story of Gabor (Auteuil) the aging knife thrower, and Adele (Paradis) the seemingly luckless in love 'belle fille sur la pont'. Fate thrusts them together on a cold night in Paris as Adele stands on a bridge and contemplates ending it all in the dark waters below. When Gabor approaches her, he says "you look like a girl who's about to make a mistake"...and seals their fate together upon offering her a job as his human target, informing her that he recruits suicidal women because he wants to help them on their way!

What ensues is their journey together into a world that is suddenly on their side...where luck is an everyday phenomena at last instead of an elusive phantom.

The premier film for the 2000 French Film Festival was one of those films that I felt I should like...that even had most of the ingredients of at least an 'above average' film...but just didn't have the payload I was looking for.

For example - the opening scene in which we get some background on Adele's past. While the intention of the scene was clear, and the information provided helpful to the viewer to build up to the next moment of the film, the way in which it was done alienates it totally from the action of the film itself - how can it be contextualised?

Auteuil and Paradis are both quite fine actors - the knife throwing scenes were well executed and the sexual undertones shone clearly threw. And the dialogue between them is pacy and quite funny, delivered especially well by Auteuil. But outside of this, there was this constant feeling of there being very little in the way of emotional dynamics, which, although possibly a directorial choice, left the emotional landscape of the film far too flat.

It being shot in black and white meant there were some great images, and this certainly helped evoke the circus/freak show aspect of the world the main characters inhabited, and also the freakish nature of life itself.

In the Director's notes for the film, Patrice says " I don't know why I made 'The girl on the bridge'. I just know I did it." I would encourage such sentiments to a degree - making films for the sake of film making is wonderful for the film makers...but in this case, not so wonderful for the audience who I almost feel are considered secondary to the action.

So - a film with some strong moments...some good pictures to look at...but not entirely satisfying as a whole.


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