The Bridge

"Good"

The Bridge Review


Carole Bouquet is a cinematic treasure. A gold mine of authentic humanity and emotion, capable of playing a vast range of personalities, and more astonishingly -- yet accessibly -- beautiful at 42 than ever before, she is arguably the best film actress in France today.

So when she plays an adulteress in 1962 Normandy who has an affair with her husband's boss in "The Bridge," there is so very much more to the character than just her cheating heart.

Mina is a woman who is frustrated by the slow evaporation of magic in her marriage. She still loves George, her blue-collar lug of a husband (played by Bouquet's real-life mate Gerard Depardieu). But their relationship has gone from dizzy and passionate to comfortable and polite. In fact, she'd much prefer to lose herself in a record or a good book, or go to the movies -- where emotions are powerful and love is always ardent -- than spend a night with George.

One Saturday afternoon at the theater with her 15-year-old son, she sits next to a handsome stranger who piques her curiosity when they both cry through "West Side Story." He invites them out for a drink and for the first time in ages, Mina feels herself flirting. Even with her son present, the gentleman, Matthias (Charles Berling), stares at her longingly and arouses her untended heart.

George, having recently lost his contracting business, has just taken a construction job in a nearby town, helping to build a bridge, and he is away for days at a time, leaving Mina alone to contemplate an affair.

So brilliant at expressing the uncontrollable complexities of love, Bouquet visibly struggles with her feelings. She does see Matthias, but when he drops her at home she stands frozen and silent in the entryway of her darkened house, trying to justify to herself the path she's about to take. In that moment, and in many others throughout "The Bridge," her heart reaches out from the screen to enfold the viewer -- and in this powerful scene she projects such emotions with her back to the camera the entire time. Wow.

But as Mina and Matthias become lovers -- a fact she hides so poorly from her young son (Stanislas Crevillen) that he ends up covering for her with dad -- she becomes alive again and filled with joy, even as she also becomes aware of severe complication of her infidelity.

To make ends meet, Mina has taken a housekeeping job at a local manor. Mina's employer happens to be Matthias' cousin. He's staying there occasionally while he manages an engineering project near by -- the bridge on which George is a laborer.

Depardieu co-directed this film with another actor named Frederic Auburtin, and they do a fine job of tapping into Mina's soul while also showing how George's heart breaks as he realizes he's lost his wife to another man. As an actor, he gives a wonderful, quiet performance as a defeated man who is anguished as he begins to suspect his wife of cheating, and truly broken when his suspicions are confirmed. But hoping to not drive Mina further away, he saves his anger for Matthias.

"The Bridge" is not a movie of overwhelming emotion, however. It's more about the delicacies of heartbreak, about abandonment and self-rediscovery. Sometimes we don't understand the characters (why do George and Mina never have a "what now?" conversation?), but we quickly come to care about them all the same.

In a few small ways the film is flawed. It leaves dangling a subplot flirtation between Mina's son and her employer's daughter and Matthias is more plot device than emotional being. But its subtle ways have a lasting impact. In the days between seeing "The Bridge" and writing this review, I found myself going over the picture again and again in my head, realizing it affected me more than I thought. I love when that happens. It means the movie got under my skin.



The Bridge

Facts and Figures

Run time: 60 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 21st September 2011

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 8.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.