The Girl on the Bridge

Director: Patrice Leconte

French pop singer Vanessa Paradis (long term girlfriend of Johnny Depp and mother of their two children) turns in a visually expressive performance in Patrice Leconte’s exquisitely photographed black and white film about destiny, telepathy, magic, and unlikely companionship co-starring Daniel Auteuil, who earned the Best Actor Cesar Award in France for his role. As the film opens we meet Adele (Paradis) as she is being interrogated about her unhappy relationship with men and sex as well as her perpetual misfortune and bad luck. After her speech ends, we soon see this gorgeous young woman leaning over the Seine River, her tear-stained face and suicidal glare catching the attention of Gabor (Auteil) who recruits Adele to be the mysterious beautiful target in his traveling knife throwing act, which seems like a natural transition because he needs women unafraid of death. At first skeptical of the situation, Adele goes along with the eccentric and once Adele and Gabor begin their journey, they realize that their luck has changed entirely—the two unlucky oddballs suddenly can’t miss (which helps not only with the knife throwing but also in Adele’s casino gambling as they go on tour), forming a sensual companionship that borders on a romantic flirtation without ever crossing over into a sexual relationship. It’s sexier and erotic without showing anything (a trademark of Leconte) and soon we realize that the two are actually unlikely soul mates who can speak to each other telepathically and their form of romantic consummation is onstage dazzling others with the rush of knife throwing. When the promiscuous Adele impulsively launches into a romantic relationship with a newlywed aboard a cruise ship, the two part ways only to realize later that their lives only made sense together. The Girl on the Bridge is a unique, strangely addictive and dizzifyingly romantic film that should attract lovers of foreign art romances that never quite work out, including Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love. Leconte’s film was nominated for Best Foreign Film by the Golden Globes, earned the same award from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards and a special mention "Don Quijote" Award from the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.