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Bon Voyage

4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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(Aug 17, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Quick Shipping !!! New And Sealed !!! This Disc WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. A multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player is request to view it in USA/Canada. Please Review Description.

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

Special Features


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)
    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:
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: August 17, 2004
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002C4JIK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,415 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bon Voyage" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
That's it, really:
There are three versions of this film available through the Amazon site as of 12/11.

ASIN: B00028COR2, released by TVA and unrated, has no subtitles. Region 1

ASIN: B0002C4JIK, released by Sony and rated PG-13, has English, Spanish, Portuguese subtitles. Region 1

There is a third release, Region 2 (so, not coded for North American dvd players),
ASIN: B0038C1A4C, released by Optimum and not rated, this also has English subtitles.

The unsubtitled version is currently cheapest and the main Amazon entry.

The content of the film has been well summarized here by other reviewers; probably you will either find it

1) frivolous fluff, possibly in bad taste: a farce set against the backdrop of the French govt capitulation to the Nazis.

2) visually rich and even very occasionally moving, while being a farce set against the backdrop of the French govt capitulation to the Nazis.

Either way, you will be an odd duck indeed if you are not rather startled by Isabelle Adjani's picture-of-Dorian-Grey-uncanny, ageless loveliness.

But unless you have quite good French, much of the rest of the film will be less impressive unless you take care to acquire either of the subtitled versions.

Bon chance!
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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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