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.

Director:

Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A few stories are mixed, but all starts with Claire who one day brings back to Gregoire one of his books found at the university. Gregoire is the tenebrous romantic king, and Claire falls ... See full summary »

Director: Danièle Dubroux
Stars: Chiara Mastroianni, Melvil Poupaud, Hubert Saint-Macary
The Eel (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A businessman kills his adulterous wife and is sent to prison. After the release, he opens a barbershop and meets new people, talking almost to no one except an eel he befriended while in prison.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baishô
L'Atalante (1934)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy.

Director: Jean Vigo
Stars: Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté, Michel Simon
Dr. Akagi (1998)
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

At the end of WWII, Japanese doctor Akagi searches for the cure for hepatitis in the prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Akira Emoto, Kumiko Asô, Juro Kara
Black Rain (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, based on Masuji Ibuse's novel.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Yoshiko Tanaka, Kazuo Kitamura, Etsuko Ichihara
L'ennui (1998)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A philosophy teacher restless with the need to do something with his life meets a young woman suspected of driving an artist to his death. He finds the very simple Cecilia irritating but ... See full summary »

Director: Cédric Kahn
Stars: Charles Berling, Sophie Guillemin, Arielle Dombasle
Séraphine (2008)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Based on the life of French painter Séraphine de Senlis.

Director: Martin Provost
Stars: Yolande Moreau, Ulrich Tukur, Anne Bennent
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A middle-aged bar hostess, constantly in debt, is faced with numerous social constraints and challenges posed to her by her family, customers and friends.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Hideko Takamine, Tatsuya Nakadai, Masayuki Mori
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Exiled from her country since her husband's murder ten years earlier, Judith lives in Marseille with her three children. After having refused to see her family for years, Judith, in spite ... See full summary »

Director: Fanny Ardant
Stars: Ronit Elkabetz, Abraham Belaga, Marc Ruchmann
The Rose King (1986)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Werner Schroeter
Stars: Magdalena Montezuma, Mostefa Djadjam, Antonio Orlando
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Sylvain Monod
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Michel Vuillermoz, Yvon Back
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A sound engineer who is chronically hesitant has to make a hard choice between three successively charming young women.

Director: Bruno Podalydès
Stars: Denis Podalydès, Jeanne Balibar, Isabelle Candelier
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

7 April 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Três Pontes Sobre o Rio  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

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:
?