Breathless, the 1960 French drama directed by Jean-Luc Godard, follows the escapades of Michel, a criminal who models himself after Humphrey Bogart, and his American girlfriend, Patricia. Michel steals a car and kills a police officer. Patricia hides him in her apartment while he tries to find a way for both of them to flee to Italy. She then learns that the police are after him and rats him out. What will Michel do now that his girlfriend has betrayed him? Will their relationship be destroyed?
A word of warning to viewers: there are parts of the movie focusing on Michel and Patricia doing stuff that does not advance the plot. That being said, Breathless is a good movie that subverts our expectations for a crime movie. Michel doesn’t get anywhere in his schemes and Patricia is far too hesitant to become a femme fatale. Even the scenes where they don’t do much point out that in real life, there are moments when nothing happens. Honolulu art film fans should add this one to their permanent collection.
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