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Les amants du Pont-Neuf (The Lovers on the Bridge)

Posted by martinteller on October 16, 2009

I really adored Mauvais Sang, and here’s another offbeat romance from Leos Carax, also starring Juliette Binoche and Denis Lavant.  And again, this movie has some brilliant, brilliant moments, including another one set to a David Bowie song, like the exuberant “Modern Love” bit in Mauvais.  The beauty of the fireworks scene and the ensuing nighttime water-skiing is breathtaking, magical.  The film shows love between homeless people without pulling punches.  These aren’t whimsical hobos down on their luck; they’re damaged people, and they act accordingly.  Carax makes Alex especially tough to root for, and ultimately this is the Achilles heel of the movie.  How you feel about the ending is dependent on how you feel about Alex, and whether you’re able to see the finale as ambiguous (or perhaps, just an easy L’Atalante reference).  I really would like to give this a higher score, because there are so many fantastic scenes, exhilarating moments and bold choices.  But I’m not too comfortable accepting the Alex character (and he’s the center of the film) on the level that I think Carax is asking me to.  I would definitely watch this again, though.  Rating: 8


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