Down 45,446 this week

Trois ponts sur la rivière (1999)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 65 users  
Reviews: 1 user

The life of Arthur, a professor living in Paris, changes when Frank comes to live on the same floor of the building where he is residing.


0Check in

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Trois ponts sur la rivière (1999)

Trois ponts sur la rivière (1999) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Trois ponts sur la rivière.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Psy (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Philippe de Broca
Stars: Patrick Dewaere, Anny Duperey, Jean-François Stévenin
Mango Yellow (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Short stories revolving around a bar and a hotel in Recife, unveil a mosaic of exotic characters living in the Brazilian underground: a butcher married with an evangelical woman, a ... See full summary »

Director: Cláudio Assis
Stars: Matheus Nachtergaele, Jonas Bloch, Leona Cavalli
Insiang (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The first Filipino film to show at the Cannes Film Festival is set in the slums of Manila. A beautiful girl gets raped by her mother's lover, and then learns how to exact revenge.

Director: Lino Brocka
Stars: Hilda Koronel, Mona Lisa, Ruel Vernal
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Filmed at the historic 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia, Kyle Kinane's new special delivers wonderfully grim anecdotes filtered through his own optimistic lens. In "I Liked His Old Stuff ... See full summary »

Director: Lance Bangs
Stars: Kyle Kinane
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Christian takes his friend Ingrid's help to find out more about René,an artist.

Director: Jean-Claude Biette
Stars: Jean-Christophe Bouvet, Sonia Saviange, Howard Vernon
La forêt (TV Movie 2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Christian Blanc, Martine Chevallier, Loïc Corbery
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Documenting Taiwan from an aerial perspective offering a glimpse of Taiwan's natural beauty as well as the effect of human activities and urbanization on our environment.

Director: Chi Po-lin
Stars: Xiang Hong, Cing-Soong Lai, Nolay Piho
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Edwige Fenech plays the girlfriend of beatnik-hippy artist Archie (Willi Colombini). Throughout the film Edwige is either having her body painted during a hippy party, posing naked for ... See full summary »

Director: Franz Marischka
Stars: Willi Colombini, Marcella Michelangeli, Edwige Fenech
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A group of soldiers face the difficulty of war during one night at the Italian Front.

Director: Ermanno Olmi
Stars: Claudio Santamaria, Camillo Grassi, Niccolò Senni
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A lighthouse keeper has been murdered in mysterious circumstances and, during the ensuing investigation a Phantom Light keeps appearing at the scene of his death.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Binnie Hale, Gordon Harker, Donald Calthrop
The Unsaved (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The Unsaved is a drama about about a Sancho Panza and not a Don Quijote. It's about the every day's non-hero facing circumstances and not adventures, it's about Viorel, a 25-year-old ... See full summary »

Director: Igor Cobileanski
Stars: Igor Babiac, Ela Ionescu, Sergiu Voloc
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A family secret, it's a time-bomb! Albert and Gideon form for thirty years an original 'couple': fundamentally opposed characters, they share the same house since the death of Albert's wife... See full summary »

Director: Didier Le Pêcheur
Stars: Judith Godrèche, Patrick Chesnais, Daniel Prévost


Credited cast:
Arthur Echéant
Thomas Badek ...
Frank Opportun
André Baptista ...
Sara Paz ...
Michèle Moretti ...
Madame Plume
Isabel Ruth ...
The professor's assistant
Sophie, Claire's friend
Frédéric Norbert ...
Marc Susini ...
Salomon Pernety
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ricardo Aibéo ...
Bernardas Bagdanavicius
Alexandra Barata
Hacène Belkhadra
Mariana Branco


The life of Arthur, a professor living in Paris, changes when Frank comes to live on the same floor of the building where he is residing.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

7 April 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Três Pontes Sobre o Rio  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Quietly Intriguing, Reflective Film
2 September 2002 | by (somewhere) – See all my reviews

"3 Bridges On the River" is a quietly intriguing, intelligent film. There's some mystery, but it prefers character study to conventional suspense. If you like Jacques Rivette or Eric Rohmer, it's worth your while. Portugal travel flavor makes it nice to curl up with, even watch alone, although director Biette's subtle sensibility might bore those who insist on plot points and clear motivations. However, if you think 'travel' and treat it as a reflective journey, it may be a pleasant surprise.

Simple outline (for roughly the first quarter): Arthur, a history teacher who keeps to himself, meets a new neighbor across the hall. Unsmiling and somewhat intense, Thomas imposes a friendly get-together for both to become better acquainted, but Arthur remains aloof, especially as Thomas' pushy creepiness does nothing to break the ice. A while later, a chance meeting brings Arthur and ex-love Claire together again, after a separation of 3 years. Uneasy, they soon find themselves cautiously making their way through old emotional territory. He tells her that he's traveling to Portugal to seek out an elderly historian, someone whose work he's admired, hopefully to obtain a critique of his own thesis-in-progress. The trip is a tender subject, as they'd once planned a similar one together 3 years ago, unsuccessfully. But she agrees to go with him. However, after arriving in Lisbon, Arthur finds the whereabouts of the retired history professor becoming rather elusive, and the road leads on to Oporto... Then, some unexpected appearances by Thomas in Portugal begin to trouble Arthur, making him increasingly wary... and Claire and Arthur hear mention of a secret sect in the city, luring young people...

Jean-Claude Biette directs in low-key manner, neither under- nor over-playing any aspects of the film. Even the complete lack of a musical soundtrack (unless via musicians who appear on-screen) is rather perfect, so that there is never a particular 'mood' overlaid on any scene. In this way, it all plays out in a refreshingly natural fashion, and any moments containing "intrigue" of some sort benefit from not being artificially heightened, allowing us to 'read' each moment unguided, and taking our surprises as we do. There's a steady but quiet intrigue that develops out of Claire and Arthur's relationship, but as for the more obviously "mysterious" business going on, for the most part it's rather like having glimpses of something odd, slightly "off," as one goes about one's daily affairs.

The subtle sense of uncertainty that emerges during the film is beautifully controlled, so that it never cheapens into a "foreboding" found in typical thrillers. Still, Biette's film is about mystery: the small subtle mysteries of the way we are, by ourselves and with others; what we reveal and what we don't; and how coincidences unsettle us, teasing us as possible signs, yet seemingly not insisting too much as they come and go... But it's not a suspense thriller, or even a film that answers "what happened?" It's primarily Arthur and Claire's story, and much of what else is happening serves to provide subtle reflections on his personal dilemma. We come to see that, just as Arthur remains unforthcoming and self-centered, a more vital connection to Claire, as well as Portugal, remains inaccessible for him.

As the couple wanders the streets, Lisbon and Oporto appear as historical cities of mystery, but also as ever present, sunlit bystanders to the tentative and emotional fluctuations of Claire and Arthur as they negotiate successive moments of intimacy together. Things develop slowly, and we wonder if it will really work out for them this time, as there doesn't seem much urgency in their relationship. In natural, understated roles, Jeanne Balibar (a revelation in "Va Savoir") and Mathieu Amalric ("La Sentinelle," "Late August, Early September") are both perfect, and their quiet appeal makes us come to care a good deal about them.

The metaphors of "3 Bridges" are also understated. The three characters each have their own reasons for their journey. There's a sense of "bridge" as suspension and crossing over: Arthur and Claire sometimes appear in suspended states from one moment to the next, now moving from uncertainty to insight, or from expectation to disappointment. Also, history can serve as a bridge which links us to the past and answers many questions. However, Arthur unfortunately winds up having a disappointing encounter with the silence of history, its unwillingness to divulge its secrets, in the course of his search... Being self-centered, Arthur eventually discovers he needs to bridge his own insular and obsessed nature, by extending himself to acknowledge the presence of others in his life, as well as a greater world at large than the one he sees. In a sense, the character of Thomas provides a "bigger picture" for Arthur. In one encounter, when Arthur asks Thomas why he keeps showing up, reappearing in his life wherever he goes, Thomas is mysterious but nonetheless direct: "Sometimes you have to obey." It's just one of many opportune moments for Arthur to realise that the people, places and events that have been entering his life are synchronicities, suggesting that a greater surrender to life is necessary on his part.

Some viewers won't come away with expected answers, as there isn't much conventional plot material. Rather, while some intrigue does add spice, the film's real material develops as we get to know Arthur and Claire, hanging out with them in a very leisurely way, following their vulnerabilities and hopes as they move into a new unknown adventure together. "Character development" is what traveling does for us anyway, but also the art of living, if rediscovered...

For myself, a pleasant reward came from being shown how the mysteries of life are always there, sometimes beckoning and tantalizing, coaxing our emotions... or preserving our caution when rubbing shoulders with something questionable, even dangerous perhaps... and yet things usually turn out just as they should. Even the inexplicable, which is quite well enough.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Trois ponts sur la rivière (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: