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Frontier of the Dawn (2008)

La frontière de l'aube (original title)
A celebrity is caught by her husband with a young lover. She ends the relationship, but slowly goes insane.


Philippe Garrel


Philippe Garrel (screenplay), Marc Cholodenko | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Louis Garrel ... François
Laura Smet ... Carole
Clémentine Poidatz ... Ève
Olivier Massart Olivier Massart ... Le père d'Eve
Jérôme Robart Jérôme Robart ... Copain de François 1
Emmanuel Broche Emmanuel Broche ... Copain de François 2
Cédric Vieira Cédric Vieira ... Copain de François 3
Grégory Gadebois ... Ami de Carole 1
Vladislav Galard Vladislav Galard ... Ami de Carole 2
Julie Pouillon Julie Pouillon ... Amie de Carole 3
Stanislas Stanic Stanislas Stanic ... Le comédien français
Eric Rulliat Eric Rulliat ... Le mari de Carole
Marion Mitterhammer Marion Mitterhammer ... Une patiente
Éric Seigne Éric Seigne ... Médecin 1
Olivier Lidove Olivier Lidove ... Médecin 2


A celebrity is caught by her husband with a young lover. She ends the relationship, but slowly goes insane.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

8 October 2008 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Frontier of the Dawn See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Fraudulent fluff posing as an enigmatic masterwork
29 February 2012 | by tigerfish50See all my reviews

This threadbare tale of a photographer's amorous misadventures demonstrates that pretentious sixties-style, cinematic vanity projects still survive in twenty-first century France. Shot in self-consciously 'artistic' B&W, the opening sequence depicts the poetically rumpled Francois arriving to shoot some publicity stills of a young married actress, Carole, whose film-maker husband is absent in Hollywood. Despite Carole's lack of any discernible charisma, Francois falls under her spell, and they embark on a supposedly obsessive love affair. It's soon apparent that the film is going to be a slow-motion train-wreck, since the director spends far too much time on tedious shots of the couple asleep or staring moodily into the distance, while neglecting to develop his characters or their unconvincing relationship. Consequently it seems somewhat capricious when Carole suddenly suffers a breakdown, sets fire to her apartment, and is consigned to an asylum where she writhes around theatrically in a straitjacket.

After her release, there is a sequence of scenes which illustrates the arbitrary, lazy nature of the entire script. Carole tells Francois that she's going to reconcile with her husband, and then, with a cringe-inducing bout of over-acting, returns to her hotel room to drown her sorrows in a bottle of gin. Francois tries seeking solace with a new love interest, but memories of his old romance undermine his mental stability, and drive him on to the melodramatic destiny that awaits him.

"Frontier of the Dawn" makes even less sense on the screen than it does on paper, and director Garrel requires his son to do little more than adopt stock romantic poses in the main role of Francois. As a result, it's easy to see why the Cannes Festival audience greeted the film's producers with whistles of derision for wasting their time with such a pompous piece of puerile piffle.

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