Breathless Directed by Jim McBride: a jpoc movie review
A great performance by Gere and an entertaining film.
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Main Cast
Richard Gere Jesse Lujack
Valérie Kaprisky Monica Poiccard
Art Metrano Birnbaum
William Tepper Professor Paul Silverstein
John P. Ryan Lieutenant Parmental
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Five out of ten.
viewing notes
I first saw this movie at the Antwerp film museum on the 18th of January 1997. I'd gone to town to see Crash at one of the multiplexes in the centre and after, the film museum was showing this film and Natural Born Killers on a sort of double bill so I took them both in. Just as in the passenger, I was quite taken with the leading lady.
My review
This film is a remake of Godard's "A Bout du Souffle" but that is more of a problem than a blessing for this film. Breathless is not good enough to cut it as a worthy US version of the original but, seen as a film it it's own right, it makes a lot more sense and it is entertaining to watch.

Richard Gere plays Jesse Lujack, a small time criminal who just happens to kill a cop. He doesn't set out to do so, it just happens but this one act drags him into a trap which is, of course, of his own making.

His flight from the police who are determined to nail the cop killer takes him back to student Monica Poiccard (Kapriski) an old girlfriend. To him, she was an important and significant part of his life but to her, he was just an interlude whom she never expected to see again but, in a kind of "what the heck" mood she takes up with him and his troubles.

Gere really is doing a fine job here. The script favours him but nonetheless, he is totally convincing in this film He really is Lujack.

However much he tries to prevent it, the ending is pretty much inevitable but on the way Gere and Kapriski have some laughs. They live for the moment and, essentially they do enjoy the moments despite the bigger picture and that is what this film is all about. It's good to watch and enjoy. It is not a polarising moment in cinema history but, if you can forget the film's origins and hope only for an entertaining movie, it will not let you down.

If you like this film, I'd recommend "The Passenger" with Jack Nicholson and Maria Schneider. It shares the same theme of a woman taking up with a man in big trouble and it is a much better movie although it is a serious film and does not have the laughs of Breathless.