Just a sigh indeed! Gabriel Byrne fans all over the world sighed deeply over this film. Finally, a romantic portrayal from our star!
A romance, yes. But so much more. This delicate story, written by director Jérôme Bonnell, takes us, like its central character, Alix, on a whirlwind journey of discovery and a chance meeting with a mysterious stranger that lasts only one day. A special day in Paris, the Fête de la Musique is underway and music, which plays an important part throughout the film, floats all around these two characters, swirling through the streets as they meet, lose one another, and meet again.
Emmanuelle Devos makes a stunning Alix: scattered but determined, in a state of flux even as she sleeps on the train. Her chance encounter with a professor of literature, played by Mr. Byrne, is all about shy glances at first. Those glances turn into something else, though, and Alix finds herself helpless to ignore this stranger, while we find ourselves immersed in an exquisite, almost ethereal duet that grows to include passion, love, and redemption.
I have written a mighty treatise on Gabriel Byrne’s work in this film, partly out of respect for his achievement but, as usual, also partly out of a desire to understand the power he wields in a role like this. His character, an enigmatic and yet approachable man, is a finely wrought creation that depends on facial expressiveness as much as it does on the words he is given to speak. Mr. Byrne embodies this man completely and easily, perhaps because he was, as he says, “playing a ghost.” We learn something about Douglas eventually, but the mystery is always there, hovering, like the desire that exists between these two strangers. It is Alix who takes the most substantial form–Douglas is the still center to her swirling physicality and her trembling courage. His is a striking and memorable portrayal; theirs is a lovely match.
The Just A Sigh Mega Movie Page is a love letter to this love story. Promotional stills, posters, videos, and screencaps offer a captivating visual portrait of this love affair; reviews and interviews shed a clear light on how and why this film touches us so deeply. heart