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Bon Voyage (2003)

Isabelle Adjani , Gérard Depardieu , Jean-Paul Rappeneau  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Isabelle Adjani, Gérard Depardieu, Virginie Ledoyen, Grégori Derangère, Yvan Attal
  • Directors: Jean-Paul Rappeneau
  • Writers: Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Gilles Marchand, Julien Rappeneau, Jérôme Tonnerre, Patrick Modiano
  • Producers: Laurent Pétin, Michèle Pétin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: August 17, 2004
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002C4JIK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,001 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bon Voyage" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Occupied France the subject of a deft, breezy comedy? Believe it. Bon Voyage gathers a collection of romantics, fools, and survivors, and puts them together in Bordeaux in 1940. Loosely arranged around the ditzy figure of a famous grand-dame actress (Isabelle Adjani), these hapless creatures trip over each other very amusingly during the course of a couple of frantic days. The central character is actually a young writer (the winning Gregori Derangere), who's torn between panting after the actress or aiding the pretty daughter (Virginie Ledoyen, 8 Women) of an important scientist trying to escape to England. It would be hard to say that any of this amounts to anything substantial, but director Jean-Paul Rappeneau whips it together very attractively, and the Bordeaux location offers luscious views of a pre-war city. Rappeneau's delightful 1966 comedy La Vie de Chateau, set in Normandy just before D-Day, treads some of the same turf. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue, Chase, Farce as Only the French Can Do It August 19, 2004
Format:DVD
BON VOYAGE is the brainchild of director Jean-Paul Rappeneau and seems to be a bit of satire on the mega movies of Hollywood, only with a French perspective. The story revolves around a murder in the home of a French movie star diva Viviane (Isabelle Adjani, who just does NOT seem to age!) immediately after the premiere of her latest film. A woman of many trysts and affairs she "acts" her way through obtaining the help of past lovers (from the Minister of the Interior - Gerard Depardieu), an espionage agent Alex (Peter Coyote), and a writer Frederic (the elegant and very fine Gregori Derangere) who responds to the murder and eventually takes the blame and the prison sentence for Viviane. The year shifts to 1940, the Germans are approaching Paris, and the Parisians flee for Bordeaux. In this shuffle one Professor (Jean-Marc Stehle) and his devoted assistant Camille (Virgine Ledoyen) are trying to escape to England with the world's only supply of Heavy Water (a potential ingredient in creating atomic warfare), eluding the Germans who want to confiscate it. Frederic escapes prison, reunites with his lovable sidekick Raoul (Yvan Attal) and the chase ensues! Will Viviane escape Paris safely and which of her manipulated lovers will accompany her? Will the Heavy Water find its way to England? Will Paris/France fall to the Germans or retain its dignity, awaiting the Allied Forces? All of these strings of the great web of intrigue intertwine in the most unexpected ways and it is this interplay that provides the pleasures of this very Hollywood-style broad comedy/epic/action/intrigue movie. The acting is as superb as one would expect from this troop of some of France's cream of the crop actors. A terrific entertainment movie - that happens to have class!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
This film is set in the weeks just before Germany's invasion of France. Pandemonium was (as accurately portrayed in the film) not extreme, yet tension and fear suffused the environment that opened before the French citizen. I found every character in this film far from cliché, and at the same time, very close in personality and behavior to someone that I immediately knew, or had know. Because of this, the film and its characters were intensely engaging.

There's been some grumbling about the historical accuracy and atmosphere of the film...FYI to the naysayers:
Most Historians agree; the occupation of France was the least traumatic German occupation of the Allied Countries in WWII. Why? Because the French military already knew that the Maginot line -- due to its early 30's technology and feeble armaments of an actual defense -- would fall in a matter of days against the German Blitzkrieg. So what did the inhabitants of the Country do? The majority fled to other provinces or stayed as contently occupied citizens, posing no threat to the Germans, except for the resistance -- an 'organized' group of French eccentrics who sought to prevent the destruction of valued paintings and works of art.

With that out of the way, I found the atmosphere of the film as pleasing as a lounge or cafe with phenomenal food and live music at a pleasing decibel, to accompany the experience of visitation.
Allow me to explain. The lighting of the film was neither dark, or overtly decadent, and the cinematography was extremely natural, and very far from stylized.
As far as performances go, wow.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
You don't need to take 'Bon Voyage' (2003) too seriously, even though it deals with the history of France when it was occupied by the Greman troops during the WW2. If you have seen Ernest Lubitsch's masterpiece 'To Be Or Not To Be' (or its Mel Brooks' remake), you know what I am saying. For all its subject matter, 'Bon Voyage' is a playful drama, or even comedy, sort of.

The center of the many characters is none other than Isabelle Adjani, who perfectly fits in the role of, yes, the super-star actress, Viviane living in Paris. The war broke out, but she knows how to survive the war-time, for her best friend (for now) is the minister in the Cabinet, Gerald Dupardieu. Even though the Cabinet is not falling apart before the invading Germans. And in case of emergency -- like finding a dead body in her room, seriously -- she can rely on her ex-love Frederic (Gregori Derangere). Even though, again, he finds himself in jail, instead of her.

The characters (and the whole French government too) escape from Paris, and find a temporary haven in Bordeaux, to which Germans are coming. In this chaotic city, Vivien, Minister, Frederic, small-time crook Raoul (Yvan Attal), a Jewish scientist who holds the key to the future weapons, and his intelligent, bespectacled secretary (Virginie Ledoyen), all attempt to find and get what they want -- love, passport, meaning of life, etc. And even a taciturn secret agent (Peter Coyote) is after Vivien, for love or something else, you soon know.

The touch is always light, the story's speed is constantly fast, and even the actors, tactfully orchestrized by the masterful director Jean-Paul Rappeneau ('Cyrano de Bergerac'), are all having fun playing the characters. In spite of the theme, 'Bon Voyage' never becomes somber or dismal.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
This is an excellent film. It uses humor to deal with serious issues in France's past -- the German invasion and response by the French government, the experience of French Jews,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by sylvia
5.0 out of 5 stars Bon Voyage est fantastique!
I love this movie! This is an exciting film filled with fascinating characters. I am a French teacher and I am always on the lookout for French films with a wide appeal. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Maureen Keating Holt
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Film
Very fun film with intrigue, adventure, a bit of romance, and humor. The DVD arrived in perfect condition and all worked well.
Published 12 months ago by Mary Chapman
4.0 out of 5 stars beware: no subtitles on version ASIN: B00028COR2
That's it, really:
There are three versions of this film available through the Amazon site as of 12/11. Read more
Published on December 24, 2011 by -a reader-
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible voyage
Here is a fascinating and quite gorgeous study of a mid twentieth century Democratic society (France) sliding into the hellish abyss of occupation after a stunning military defeat... Read more
Published on October 2, 2011 by Richard B. Kirschenbaum
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining!
This was such a fun and hilarious movie. It's a bit fast paced and keeps you watching so you don't get too confused with the lives of all the people while they intertwine.
Published on October 1, 2010 by Vantos
5.0 out of 5 stars frida4tune@yahoo.com
I simply love period pieces. Isabelle is beautiful in this. Enjoyed it very much.
Published on December 5, 2009 by dinah washington
3.0 out of 5 stars Tedious at times
Some slapstick comedy as the Nazis prepare to conquer France in 1940? Yep, but it's all a bit forced, with the usual litany of madcap mistaken motivations. Read more
Published on June 8, 2009 by Bradley F. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine moviemaking
My wife and I enjoyed this wonderful movie. The acting is superb, the script never dull, and the photography is simply beautiful. You can't go wrong with this one. Read more
Published on December 15, 2008 by True North
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen to Rappeneau's Commentary The Second Time You See This DVD
The first time that I watched this movie, I enjoyed it for its beautiful Art Deco sets and its pre-war fashions as worn by well chosen actors, playing in this 30's style screwball... Read more
Published on December 12, 2008 by C. J. Gillis
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Subtitles?
ASIN: B00028COR2 does not; it was produced for a Quebecois audience. For subtitles in Region 1, you will need the (more expensive) ASIN: B0002C4JIK.
Dec 23, 2011 by -a reader- |  See all 3 posts
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