Start your New Year off right with a bit of French farce. Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s film from 2004 is lively, fun to watch and very entertaining. If you’re looking for deep insights into la condition humaine, you might want to look elsewhere. But this film is a kick and no guilt to boot!
The still-lovely-after-all-these-years stars Isabelle Adjani (in soft focus) as an actress with a disloyal heart, Grégori Derangère (as Frédéric Auger) as a writer with an all too loyal heart, and the big bear himself (Gérard Depardieu), as a Vichy leaning French Minister. Rounding out the cast is a very wonderful Virginie Ledoyen (Camille) as a loyal assistant to a brilliant physicist with secrets to be kept from the Nazis (hmmm, maybe this movie is about loyalty after all), and Yvan Attal as Raoul, a lady’s man, con artist, and all around great guy to have on your side. Expat Peter Coyote even shows up as a cynical Nazi spy. In fact there are several more actors that really deserve mention. Rappeneau assembled a very good ensemble for this film which adds to the pleasure of watching.
Viviane (Adjani) is an actress who is trying to feel her way as the (and her) world falls apart. The Nazi spectre is looming. Grégori is writing the Great American Novel (well,. French) and also happens to have been in love with Viviane since they were kids and neighborhoods. They have a history, and when Viviane gets Grégori to commit murder for her, the story is off and running. Did I mention murder? And Nazis? One man torn between two women? And the coming occupation? Now I have.
Bon Voyage is a softer French Inglorious Basterds, and every bit as funny and possibly the better film. Recommended home viewing.