Details: (M), 110 mins, France,
Synopsis: As France is swept into World War II in 1940, the big question is what will the country do? Fight or make peace with Hitler. But for some people, their personal lives demand greater attention; like the actress (Isabelle Adjani) whose dalliance with a businessman ends in tragedy, drawing others, like a cabinet Minister (Gerard Depardieu), a writer (Gregoire Derangere), a resourceful petty crim (Yvan Attal), a pretty physics student (Virginie Ledoyen) and even a mysterious journalist (Peter Coyote) into the vortex of her self-preserving world. As Parisians desert the capital ahead of the advancing German army and go south – mostly to Bordeux – the big issues and the personal dramas are thrown explosively together.
A group of Parisians band together in an effort to escape Paris in World War II.
In the middle of 1940, the people of France are nervous about the impending German invasion, but film star Viviane (Isabelle Adjani) is too self-centered to be aware of what's happening in the outside world. On the rainy night of the premiere of her new film, she telephones an ex-lover, Frederic (Gregori Derangere) to seek his help in the removal of the body of a man from her apartment; she claims he died in a fall; it soon becomes clear that she shot him. But the willing Frederic does his best, and soon finds himself in prison, accused of murder, sharing a cell with amiable con-man Raoul (Yvan Attal). They're saved by the German invasion; in the confusion they escape and head for the seaport of Bordeaux, where Viviane has a new lover, cabinet minister Beaufort (Gerard Depardieu), who favours capitulation to the Germans. She also has an admirer in the shifty Winckler (Peter Coyote). Also in the crowded city trying to escape to England is Camille (Virginie Ledoyen) whose boss, a scientist, is desperate that his latest invention doesn't fall into German hands.
Director Jean-Paul Rappeneau started his career as a writer of comedies, like Zazie Dans le Metro, and adventure comedies like That Man From Rio, and Bon Voyage is rather in that tradition. It doesn't take itself too seriously, although it deals with a tragic moment in French history, and it also doesn't make any bones about the fact that some French welcomed the German takeover of their country. There's plenty of well-staged action, the cast is excellent, and the film is handsomely, if a bit traditionally, directed. It's very enjoyable, 4 stars from me.
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