Just a Sigh (Le temps de l'aventure) (2014)
Starring Emmanuelle Devos and Gabriel Byrne
Directed by Jérôme Bonnell
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***
The film works best when Emmanuelle Devos and Gabriel Byrne share scenes together (or at least look longingly at one another) as, respectively, struggling fortysomething French actress Alix and British fiftysomething literature professor Doug. Their quick, then more lingering glances across a crowded train ride to Paris set the stage for their romance and immediately create a palpable sense of sex appeal. Unfortunately, the film attempts to flesh out Alix's life in particular -- the opening fifteen minutes feature her preparing for, then going to an audition; there's an odd ten minute diversion around the hour mark where Alix visits her estranged sister -- to no avail. I'm assuming writer-director Jérôme Bonnell wanted to create a more natural approach to his two subjects by crafting a "day-in-the-life" style film, but when the film shifts away from the romance, it falls undeniably flat.
Obviously, for a film like Just a Sigh to work at all, there is a need for a connection to be felt between its two leads and that's certainly the case. The build-up to the sexual consummation here is exciting and undeniably tangible with the love scenes between the two actors resonant and somewhat erotic despite the fact that nudity is doled out very tastefully and not at all gratuitously. Devos and Byrne shine when they have scenes together. It's just a shame the movie decides to branch out from their relationship because whenever it does that, it becomes a rather tedious bore.
The RyMickey Rating: C+