Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 14th, 2017
BluRay released: March 14th, 2017
Approximate running times: 126 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo French
BluRay Release: Kino Lorber
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $34.95
Though love stories have been one of the cornerstones of cinema since its inception. It is safe to say that there has not been a love story, like the one that unfolds in The Lovers on the Bridge. At the heart of this different kind of love story are two down on their luck characters who are brought together by a chance encounter. And though there are moments that one would usually associate with love story. There other themes which play just as large role of the story at hand, most notably obsession.
The film’s narrative is meticulously contracted and pacing is never an issue as things move along with a deliberate momentum. Key moments are given just the right amount of time to fully sink in. And the well-defined main characters motivations are never in doubt.
Performance wise as good as the entire cast are in their respective roles. This film’s greatest asset are its two leads, Denis Lavant (Boy Meets Girl) in the role of a homeless addict named Alex and Juliette Binoche (Mauvais Sang) in the role of Michèle Stalens, a young woman who deteriorating eye sight has contributed greatly to her bleak outlook of the current state of her life. They both deliver multilayered performances that are utterly convincing. Another performance of note is Daniel Buain in the role of Alex’s vagrant friend. Not to be overlooked is the role that this film’s central location the Pont-Neuf bridge in Paris pays in the story at hand.
Visually this film does a extraordinary reinforcing the mood. And nowhere is this more evident the how the film takes full advantage of its locations, most notably the aforementioned Pont-Neuf bridge. Standout moments visually include, a scene where the two main characters drunkenly waterski down the Seine river as fireworks light up the sky. Another standout moment is a scene where Alex realizes that someone is looking for Michèle and not wanting to lose her, he destroys posters in a subway tunnel by lighting them on fire.
The Lovers on the Bridge comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Flesh tones look accurate, colors are nicely saturated, details look crisp and black levels remain strong throughout. Grain remains intact and there are no issues with DNR or compression. When compared to previous DVD releases, this new transfer is superior in every way.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD stereo mix in French and included with this release are removable English subtitles. The film’s score sound’s robust and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented. The audio is always clear and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (1 minute 8 seconds), a video essay about the film titled Water and Stone (9 minutes 27 seconds) and a twelve-page booklet with cast & crew information and an essay titled A Fake Bridge and a Real Rembrandt written by Ignatiy Viishnevetsky.
Both of these extra are insightful and they both provide details about the film’s production.
Overall The Lovers on the Bridge gets an exceptional release from Kino Lorber, highly recommended.
Note: This film is also being released by Kino Lorber on DVD.