|Jean Seberg as Cecile|
|David Niven as Raymond|
|Deborah Kerr as Anne Larson|
|Mylene Demongeot as Elsa Mackenbourg|
|Cecile and Raymond: Two of a Kind|
|Geoffrey Horne as Philippe|
|British character-actress Martita Hunt (Anastasia, The Unsinkable Molly Brown) as Philippe's mother, |
getting poker advice from the "brilliant" Elsa
What follows in this gender-switch Come Blow Your Horn can best be described as a perverse, uniquely Gallic precursor to Disney's The Parent Trap, as Cecile schemes to save her father (and most importantly, herself) from the specter of death as embodied by matrimonial maturation. With predictably tragic results.
|Cecile Allocated To The Sidelines|
|As Elsa, Raymond's mistress-of-the-moment, French actress and '50s/'60s sex-symbol|
Mylene Demongeot (still acting at 81) is a delight.
|When it came to adolescent sexual independence, Cecile's unfettered license would likely cause|
Annette Funicello's waterproof bouffant (the Beach Party movies were still five years away) to turn stark white
Bonjour Tristesse is one of the most effective uses of 20th Century-Fox's epic-scale CinemaScope process for the conveyance of intimate themes I've ever seen. Although the French Mediterranean coastline has sweep and grandeur, Preminger and cinematographer Georges Perinal don't restrict the dimensions of the widescreen process to the mere recording of picture postcard images. The expanse of the cinema frame is consistently enlisted to enhance storytelling and visually underscore the film's emotional conflicts.
|Use of negative space to denote Cecile's emotional detachment|
|Space & framing reinforcing Cecile's perception|
that Anne and Raymond have united in opposition
|Once Anne and Raymond become an item, Cecile (from whose perspective the story is told) |
always sees herself as just slightly apart
|"Brilliant" economy of storytelling:|
Albertine the maid helps herself to the champagne, Raymond & Anne share a private laugh,
Elsa begins to smell a rat, and Philippe & Cecile enjoy not having anything to think about
|French singer/actress Juliette Greco, singing the film's title song|