Bon Voyage

(2003) dir Jean-Paul Rappeneau – w/ Isabelle Adjani, Virginie Ledoyen, Gerard Depardieu, Yvan Attal, Peter Coyote, and Gregori Derangere as the hapless writer.  Starring some jugs of water as Heavy Water.

Synopsis: A scientist and his assistants, an actress, a writer framed for murder and his fellow escapee, a minister… and of course a Nazi spy.  In France, on the eve of World War II.

Review: I watched the preview for this movie, and knew I had to see it.  Then, months later, the movie in front of me, I read the description and was completely baffled.  I wanted to see this movie?

As it turns out, I did.

The movie has a richly textured plot — as it opens, a famous actress calls on a childhood neighbor and sweetheart to help cover up a murder (or was it?), which, in the middle of a rainstorm in the middle of a night, ends with him being stopped by the police, and arrested as a dead man falls out of his trunk.  Simple enough.  Throw in chance encounters, friendships formed over adversity, a looming war, political machinations of the rich and powerful, science, and you’re on a roll.  But the best thing about “Bon Voyage” is undoubtedly its characters.  They’re compelling, absurd, and full.  They’re awkward and uncertain and, even in the least likely scenarios, believable.  The brisk pace of the movie and the cartwheeling plot only helps things along.

Rating: [••••] out of [•••••]