Bonjour Tristesse

1958, Movie, NR, 93 mins

Review

starstarstarstar
Hollow lives, promiscuity, and, eventually, tragedy on the French Riviera as seen through the eyes of a l7-year-old girl. Say bon jour to a lot of repressed attitudes in this often charming story. In flashback, Seberg, the daughter of a hedonistic father, Niven, is growing up to be his carbon copy. She recalls her last summer on the Riviera with her father and his newest mistress, Demongeot. Into this racy melange comes Kerr, a lovely but morally repressed woman who would soon be teetering between two worlds--the conventional society she comes from, with its harsh codes and demands, and the Bohemian lifestyle she has come upon. Niven promptly tries to bed her but finds that he must promise marriage to this one. Later Kerr discovers him in yet another illicit situation and in her distraught state, jumps into a car, drives over a cliff, and dies, an apparent suicide. Seberg and Niven return to Paris but they cannot escape the fact that Kerr has illuminated the shallowness of their lives. In her first role since her disastrous film debut in Preminger's SAINT JOAN, Seberg regrettably comes off as the corn-fed, middle-western beauty she was. As the movie progresses, however, she does exhibit some professionalism, but never enough to convey the character of a young girl influenced by a roue father who lives for today despite the dangers that lurk ahead. Niven's playboy role is one-dimensional, and at times he is hard to believe as a French rake waging a series of sexual conquests and not the English gentleman he normally portrays. Kerr, of course, is a standout talent in spite of script deficiencies, and Demongeot plays the role of a silly blonde well. The Riviera scenes are rich in eye appeal and Kerr's chic costuming by Givenchy adds another plus. leave a comment

Are You Watching?

Bonjour Tristesse
Loading ...

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular