(Review originally written at 22 September 2008)

Jean Vigo was a director who now more is being appreciated then during his lifetime. This movie was his only full length feature and he died shortly after completing it (he had been in bad health for basically all of his life). His movies get admired for its poetic-realism and if you've seen one of his movies you'll know why. It are always beautiful looking movies, with also a touch of surrealism to it but always with heart and realism. The characters and emotions within the movies are always feeling very real. It's a shame he died so early, for he could had surely delivered some fine many more movies, with his unique and great style.

I was impressed by the movie its acting, which seemed to be ahead of its time with its more realistic approach involved. It made the story and therefore also the entire movie as a whole work out as a tender and believable one. It's a very humane movie with real characters and warmth involved. Of course biggest star of the movie is Michel Simon, who had starred in some well known, mostly 1930's, French productions. He plays his character in his trademark strange and comical style. Seriously, has this guy ever played a 'normal' character in his career?

It's a movie that gets carried by its actors and main characters but also really the movie its fine script obviously help. The movie is basically like a random slice of life and about a young married couple who live on a ship, along with its other colorful crew members. When the woman discovers the Paris night life, she decided to stay ashore, much to the grief of the husband, who slips into a depression. What follows is a story with many different emotions to it but always with a very realistic touch and feeling to it.

The movie is really wonderful looking, with some good nimble editing and fine cinematography from later Oscar winner Boris Kaufman and two assistants Louis Berger and Jean-Paul Alphen. But its fine visuals should not in the should also be credited to Jean Vigo's directing approach and way he chooses to tell the story. It's a beautiful movie to look at, as well as it is wonderful to follow the movie its story and get involved with the movie it's main character, portrayed by capable actors.

I simply loved watching this movie!


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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