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The Lovers on the Bridge (1991)

Les amants du Pont-Neuf (original title)
R | | Drama, Romance | 2 July 1999 (USA)
Alex, who's homeless and addicted to alcohol, and Michèle, who's losing her sight, form a relationship while sleeping rough on Paris's Pont-Neuf bridge.

Director:

Leos Carax

Writer:

Leos Carax
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Juliette Binoche ... Michèle Stalens
Denis Lavant ... Alex
Klaus-Michael Grüber Klaus-Michael Grüber ... Hans
Marion Stalens Marion Stalens ... Marion
Chrichan Larsson Chrichan Larsson ... Julien (as Chrichan Larson)
Paulette Berthonnier Paulette Berthonnier ... La marinière / Barge operator
Roger Berthonnier Roger Berthonnier ... Le marinier / Barge operator
Edith Scob ... La femme en voiture
Georges Aperghis Georges Aperghis ... L'homme en voiture
Michel Vandestien Michel Vandestien ... Le pompier
Georges Castorp Georges Castorp ... Un endormi
Marc Desclozeaux Marc Desclozeaux ... Un endormi
Alain Dahan Alain Dahan ... Un endormi
Pierre Pessemesse Pierre Pessemesse ... Un endormi
Maître Bitoun Maître Bitoun ... Un endormi
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Storyline

Set against Paris' oldest bridge, the Pont Neuf, while it was closed for repairs, this film is a love story between two young vagrants: Alex, a would be circus performer addicted to alcohol and sedatives and Michele, a painter driven to a life on the streets because of a failed relationship and an affliction which is slowly turning her blind. The film portrays the harsh existence of the homeless as Alex, Michele and Hans, an older vagrant survive on the streets with their wits. As they both slowly get their lives back together, Michele becomes increasingly dependent on Alex as her vision deteriorates further. Fearing that Michele will leave him if she receives a new medical treatment Alex attempts to keep Michele practically a prisoner. The streets, skies and waterways of Paris are used as a backdrop to the story in a series of stunning visuals which dominate the film. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Romance... In a most unlikely place.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language, sexuality/nudity and substance abuse | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

2 July 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lovers on the Bridge See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,482, 4 July 1999

Gross USA:

$29,679

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,679
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leos Carax was originally given permission to use the real Pont-Neuf bridge in Paris and have it closed for filming but delays in filming meant the permission expired and he had to reconstruct the whole thing on a lake near Montpellier, France. The construction of a new version of the Pont-Neuf - and its surrounding buildings in Paris - helped make the film of the most expensive French films ever made. See more »

Quotes

Michèle Stalens: My dreams sent me. People in dreams, ought to call them when you wake. Make life simpler. "Hello, dreamed of you. Love woke me".
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the last end title, during a fraction of a second, there is a handwritten inscription "à Luje - Amour - A." (To Luje - Love - A.) A. stands for Alexandre (Leos Carax' real first name) and Luje for Juliette (Binoche). See more »


Soundtracks

Suite des Danses Rituelles
ref. ARN 64016
performed by the Master Drummers of Burundi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Carax is the most interesting storyteller I've come across in a while-
5 March 2005 | by rnadivSee all my reviews

There's a lot to say here about the performances of Juliette Binoche and Denis Lavant. Lavant is always good in Carax's films; here he is simply outstanding. And seeing Binoche play a character with dimension, for once, is a pleasure. The real surprise is Klaus-Michael Gruber whose Hans is perhaps the most believable aspect of the film.

But what draws me to this film--tied for best of what I've seen Carax do, along with "Mauvais Sang"--is the photography, sound and editing. Carax understands the use of image in narrative, and how to bring discordant scenes together to provide the sense of desperation needed to make this love story, so far removed from mainstream film romance, believable and engaging. From the opening soundtrack to the climactic scenes given over by his masterful use of jump cuts, Carax outdoes others, some long-established, who came late on the scene with these tools (Bertolucci; Soderbergh). What Carax started craft-wise with "Boy Meets Girl" he perfect in "Les Amants du Pont Neuf."

If Lavant, Binoche and Gruber are not reason enough to rent this film, then Carax's pictorial ideas, carried through with his incredible sense of craft, should more than suffice. Sad that the film has suffered so quietly without major recognition, when, clearly, others have borrowed from it so willingly.


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