Just A Sigh (Le temps de l’aventure) Review

Last week we had true spontaneous ‘romance’ dangled in front of us in form of that ‘FIRST KISS’ video, prompting jealously for that electric spark of in-the-moment romance between those that were meeting for the first time.  Luckily we were brought back to reality with the news that it was all A SHAM. Real life people aren’t as gorgeous, and make much more audible saliva sounds when tounging. Anyway, with both manufactured and real life portrayals of romance beaming over the internet this week I thought I would have a looksie at the French romantic drama, Just A Sigh (alternative title- Le temps de l’aventure), that features in the excellent lineup for the Alliance Française French Film Festival showcase that is travelling around Australia right now.

Just A Sigh gives us the voyeuristic preview of an actor’s life between shows. We follow the Alix, played by the gorgeous Emmanuelle Devos, as she becomes swept up in Paris by a strange lover in that renowned stupidly sexy city. The romance becomes prevalent when Alix absentmindedly follows an Irishman (Gabriel Byrne) who made brief contact with her on the Calais train travelling to Paris. Under uncomfortable circumstances they meet again and passionately click, displaying their instant, burning love on for all to observe (minus the sloppy sounds) on the streets of Paris.

The film rarely diverts from Alix on her own going about her business. What it does well is capture the menial activities within this 24-hour period. We see her fall asleep on the train, see her get frustrated when her boyfriend misses all of her phone calls, see her bicker with her perfect sister. Some shots take their time, but these add to the realness of the tale. She is endearing as she goes for auditions and runs mundane errands, she is gorgeous and vulnerable, ‘exhausted and minuscule’. These feelings are assisted by wide, close range shots expertly executed by Jérôme Bonnell of Alix’s often emotionally and physically drained disposition. Whether you’re a Paris skeptic or a romance cynic, it’ll surely make you feel some subtle lovely feels, even if it is just admiration for Emmanuelle Devos’ wonderful hair and jawline.

There are screenings for Just A Sigh as part of the Alliance Française French Film Festival till the end of April around Australia. See if there is a showing in your city here. Or check out their other featured films at their website.

Just A Sigh review by Carol Bowditch.