<Just A Sigh 104 mins. Drama/Romance Director/Screenwriter: Jerome Bonnell (French.Belgium/Ireland) some subtitles Cast: Emmanuelle Devos (Alix), Gabriel Byrne (Doug)
Is life an accident of fate or choice? Do things happen for a reason or do we make them happen?
On a train bound for Paris our two leads, Doug (a literature professor) and Alix(an actress) meet briefly. Doug is on the train to attend the funeral of an old friend, Alix to audition for a new play. Both are in unhappy relationships, he with his wife and she with an estranged boyfriend. In her loneliness, Alix, begins to follow Doug and awkwardly approach him at the funeral. Even though it is Paris, it seems such an unlikely plot, the menacing idea that loneliness makes us do unimaginable things. That may have some basis but for most women unlikely. They speak at the church, then at a bistro reception afterwards until she knocks on his hotel door. Well, heck, maybe many French women would follow Gabriel Byrne anywhere but it not likely. Still, the viewer doesn’t come to the cinema for realism, do we? We normally want to escape that.
We get entangled into their evolving one-day relationship starting with brief, sexual scenes in bed and ending with the wonderment of weather Doug will follow up and contact Alix again. Where does loneliness lead us: to our destiny or to danger?
I wanted to hurry the movie along. I wanted to know more about the characters, about where this was leading. Both present creditable renditions of their characters but we are left at the end to wonder what comes next. Solid performances with a Paris backdrop that to this author of a book on Paris was as attractive as the characters. ★★★