Breathless (1960) - Crime, Drama

Hohum Score



A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

IMDB: 7.9
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg
Length: 90 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 48 out of 199 found boring (24.12%)

One-line Reviews (166)

Godard, by shooting his film with hand-held camera, as Parisians gawk at the filming in process, thus makes the most artificial of films, even as he tries to show the most boring aspects of life, glossing over crimes and 'deep' moments that other films contain, to show the dull times.

The dialogues are sometimes not bad, sometimes pretentious.

Overall, Breathless is an enjoyable romantic crime drama, with the style of a film noir, and a twist at the end that leaves its audience Breathless!

The third problem is that the film is very, very, very talky and dull.

Later filmmakers went leagues beyond Godard, and actually demanded their innovations serve the film's tale, rather than merely being a piece of self-indulgence a haphazard and wan tale is draped over.

Dull, dull, dull.

Fascinating as this all may be, 'À Bout de Soufflé' misses the mark for a top tier Godard effort.

Even though the jump cuts and other fundamentals of filmmaking were introduced (or at least enhanced) in the French New Wave, there are those who criticize this film for being uninspired and repetitive.

The first one I watched was Band of Outsiders which I found to be quite enjoyable, but the next two films, Tout va bien and Contempt left me quite cold, the former because I found it to be pretentious schlock and the latter because simply I was not in the mood to watch the film.

An intriguing and influential crime/romance drama.

There's pretension in that but it's the time to be pretentious.

By 1960, traditional Hollywood seemed to many, even for films made in 1959 (or especially those, just look at a list of them), dull and out of touch.

As someone who is firmly entrenched in the Truffaut camp, #TruffautisLife after all, I was terrified that I would see what is often regarded as the director with whom Truffaut shared an open and intense parting of ways with and see the masterpiece I've always been told it was.

One of the finest and most exciting films in cinema history.

The film strikes new paths how to depict the unhinged protagonists' way of lives, embeds a criminal and his insecure girlfriend in an overtly realistic scenario with mundane situations, peppered by sharp dialog and the famous jump cut editing.

WASTE of time .

Does all of this equal an enjoyable film?

However, nothing happens, Godard only wants to insinuate.

Well, to be short: this movie is absolutely stunning, fantastic, sublime, smashing, et cetera.

I did enjoy Masculin féminin: 15 faits précis though although, at first, I thought it was a bit pretentious as well.

Boring, boring, droning on, then there is boring .

I wished for it to slow down a bit to an enjoyable pace.

Belmondo running to death in the emotionally intense last scene parallels Godard's fearless determination in his radical filmmaking.

It is so funny and unconventional,so nuanced and intelligent,so veined and powerful,so robust and enjoyable.

pointless, clueless, senseless ...

Michel's character puts one in mind of an 'angry young man' or a 'rebel without a cause', the end of his crime spree being poignant and pointless.

As a piece of history, "Breathless" is equally fascinating.

Ultimately, the story falls flat, never having any emotional connection and is a lot of the times being edgy simply to be, not because the edginess was needed to make the film more intriguing.

" Breathless tells the story of Michel Poiccard, a young car thief who lives day by day engaging in petty crimes and trying to sleep with as many women as possible.

about 50% of those films are boring.

People are fascinating.

It's amateur,boring,very bad.

Aside of all of its artistic genius, the film is also surprisingly entertaining and appealing to a conventional audience.

Mostly foreign films, along the lines of something like Amelie, or something from the ilk of Pedro Almodovar or Wong Kar Wai, and one of the more common films often given the top honor on such pretentious lists is the French New Wave classic, Jean Luc Godard's Breathless.

I don't see how this can get such acclaim,I respect godards work but this film was to be honest confusing and dull.

What it IS, on the other hand, is one of the more fascinating, nihilistic, romantic films ever made.

It has been overhyped horrendously by pretentious self proclaimed 'cinephiles' because it favors a 'changing of the guards' and because they think it makes them look smart.

À Bout De Soufflé is a relationship-based film noir with groundbreaking direction and editing, fascinating dialogues, highly influential performances both in and outside the film and it is a masterpiece from Jean-Luc Godard.

The omnipresent end of life just makes his present actions more poignant and intense.

Although I think the relationship between Michel and Patricia is one of, if not the film's best merits, the dialogue becomes a bit dull and monotonous at the very end of its second act.

She is attractive, but her character seems dull and vacant.

I had trouble staying awake.

You can immediately see in what ways it must have been daring and innovative at the time, and you can understand how many things about it, (especially the editing, which alternates jerky cuts with slow passages of dialogue about "nothing"), influenced everything from 'Easy Rider' to 'Reservoir Dogs'.

My level of french isn't bad, and I've no problem with subtitled films, but this film was boring.

The film was choppy, disjointed, messy, just about as incomprehensible as it could be, and trying to find justifications or analyses online proved ineffective.

Even if you're not a film historian, this is a breezy, energetic, clever, exceedingly entertaining flick.

The vapid conversation with occasional chauvinistic platitudes dropped in gets annoying quickly and is completely uninteresting.

This is a film where characters waste time,conversations go nowhere and last a long time, and the plot is the least relevant thing occurring for 95% of the movie.

Left me breathless with boredom .

Godard's script is like life, meaningless in most parts, it just goes on and on emphasizing the characters' empty lives and their moral dualities and that is why it is so effective.

What a boring, dull film.

The Film instead is a NEW, DIFFERENT and MODERN boring, poorly written and poorly acted character study.

Breathtaking .

Then again, I have seen two other Godard films and found them dull, dull, dull.

The initial sounding befitting background music is used so much that you get bored of it by the end.

Don't waste your time watching this movie.

A very influential film for the French New Wave however I couldn't care less, it was genuinely a VERY tedious and tiring film to watch.

I don't hate "Breathless", I just take it like the main character, yes he's flamboyant, has a sort of magnetic charisma, but his acts aren't driven by strong motives, it's just a succession of disjointed talking and actions that are supposed to grab us every minute with this "Wooow, this is new" feeling.

I was bored by the sappy overacting and lame plot.

totally thrilling .

Unlike relatively straightforward french new wave like the before mentioned "400 Blows", "Breathless" is abstract and likely to leave the unprepared viewer bored, confused and dismissive.

Thought provoking and fascinating.

I walked out of a film class screening and I was Jean Seberg wiping my lip Bogart style and questioning my courage.

The subtly plotted storyline unrolls, without a single unnecessary element, to its remorseless end, but is always exciting, no matter how many times it is viewed.

There is a sequence that lasts for thirty five minutes in which they're basically talking in bed, and this scene plays of with engaging and natural dialogue and overall feels like just ten minutes have passed, and by looking at the ending and all the dialogues in the film it seems to me highly improbable that this film was made without and actual written script (as the legend says).

" The first is the very 50s-ish jazzy score by Martial Solal, which totally fits the film and captures the atmosphere in the disjointed and somewhat crazy scenario (such as it is.

The main character is an absolutely boring, outrageously stupid sleazebag who couldn't display charisma if given a death threat.

Worst of all, it's boring.

Whenever talking to pretentious people, there are certain films always on their favorite films of all-time list.

Hand-held photography, jarring jump-cuts and pretentious philosophical musings?

"It's dull, dull, dull.

There is no plot in Breathless.

This movie is disgusting and dull, dull, dull as retarded political statements are made by the 'auteur' and the Stones go on and on and on playing the lame slow version of what turns out to eventually be a pretty rocking song.

No message to the film at all.

The bedroom sequence, with its verbal-physical exchanges between Seberg and Belmondo, is riveting: mesmerizing, painfully true and witty, though nothing for lunk-headed semi-literates, for whom thought is a chore.

If I was going to be really pretentious I'd talk about the Russian literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin here and his notion of heteroglossia, or the incorporation of different languages and voices into a single work.

I've watched this movie twice and find it dull, dull, dull.

The story is sometimes confusing, too obvious and a little amazing behavior is shown in the characters at other times.

Although some people may not be as impressed with "Breathless" structure as they were in 1960, it remains a terrific, breathtaking film experience and has aged wonderfully.

I respect those who find beauty in this film but for me it was a waste of time.

It bores.

Other than a few captivating scenes and dialogues, most of the film is dull and boring; I wonder how dragging the original two-and-a-half-hour runtime might have been like.

So first, the elephant in the room, Jean Godadard and his frantic hip editing style, this was the film where he truly created his trade mark jump cut, and whatever pretentious symbolism has been attempted to conjure up from this style is totally irrelevant, "could it be the embodiment of the naive adults carelessness and naiveté depicted in the films story" you say while stubbing your toe on the exposed concrete beams you got installed in that dim glass penthouse you own.

There are parts where it becomes difficult to sit through as the conversation becomes longish or pointless but if you've watched a few films by Goddard you get used to getting bored in parts.



Had the approach and aesthetic applied not been as historically significant, therein remains a healthy idea about a character on the run whose tale mostly remains engaging.

Of course, it is also entertaining to watch the antics of Jean-Paul Belmondo (Michel Poiccard alias Laszlo Kovacs), who imagined himself to be a Bogart impersonator.

The fact that the average person may find the whole thing unfunny and bland is due to their just not being smart enough to understand and appreciate this masterpiece.

Personally I feel some of the '60s French cinema is just a bit too cold and experimental to really find fascinating -- one of the reasons Truffaut's films work so well is that they find a good human balance to rely on.

Revolutionary and Compelling, Miraculously .

The other is that, at the same time, the film still tells a compelling story.

It's a snore to me.

It's boring...

The fact that an artist writes boringly to convey boredom, or childishly to convey puerility, has no effect on the resultant work not being boring nor puerile.

Firstly, he casts Jean-Paul Belmondo, with his punched nose and unconventional looks (though quite charming), and Jean Seberg in a boy-cut tomboyish role, introducing her wearing a T-shirt and selling newspapers on the street (an intriguing and memorable intro).

It drones on and on.

) The storytelling methods in Breathless are perhaps the most fascinating part of the film.

Probably out of boredom with the essential insubstantiality of almost every movie ever made.

I also found in black and white movie very intriguing to watch.

From that environment came the New Wave, an exciting, breezy, flippant new attitude toward filmmaking.

As some of the myopic criticism of the film I read points out, Breathless is silly, pretentious, about nothing.

With Michel's constantly pointless phone calls to retrieve owed money the plot is not pushed along at all.

Thrilling , leaves us out of breath .

A totally boring film.

Why..? (original Finnish poster tagline) Probably because the people who initially saw this were bored to tears!

The plot was slow and confusing, and the characters distant.

" With random jump-cuts in a single scene or characters looking/talking to the camera, Godard constantly reminds the viewer that they're watching a work of fiction, thus making us watch the film in a different light, evoking a higher level of consciousness and compelling us to interpret the film's intended meaning.

Godard is too busy making `cinema' to do any of these mundane things.

Very interesting and entertaining film.

He thus gets the two worst aspects of film- the 'artificiality' of cinema verité and the reality of dull life, rather than the two best: the 'reality' of film as artifice and the artifice of poetically chosen reality.

Thrilling , À BOUT DE SOUFFLE leaves us out of breath .

It is however worth watching this film for no other reason than seeing Jean Seberg.

The result is this excruciatingly boring arthouse favorite, which has a reputation for being more influential than it really merits, unless those little jump cuts in the editing count.

The expression of teenage boredom does not constitute art by itself no matter the philosophical or technical justification behind it

I can see how one can be bored and irritated by Breathless.

There was no soundtrack to speak of, at least none I could notice over the banal, uninteresting dialogue and slower than molasses narrative.

As much as I'd like to think that, after two exciting years, I've been well-and-truly inducted into the world of cinema, I'm really still an amateur.

Enough of that boring context, let's talk about the film.

This is the film that started it all, and ended my insomnia!

Jean Seberg's acting is ridiculously dull and her expressions throughout the film are almost as uneventful as the plot of the film itself.

"Alphaville" is supposedly hip sci-fi, but personally I find "Barbarella" more entertaining.

The constant "I want to sleep with you" stuff got tiresome and nothing they said really kept me interested and it had very little to do with anything that followed (or came before).

The main character is unlikable but always compelling and Breathless, both in aesthetic and narrative terms, is a glorious example of rebellion and breaking free.

Beyond a fairly pristine print of the movie, Disc One includes the original French trailer and 27-minutes worth of vintage interviews with Godard, Belmondo, Seberg, and director Jean-Pierre Melville (he has a memorable cameo as a pretentious author.

Fortunately, when this storyline intertwined with Michel/Patricia's relationship, and became front and center, I found it quite intriguing and captivating till the end.

Very Boring .

The film operates in two distinct temporal dimensions: the beginning and end segments are fast paced and furious, sandwiching in between the requisite French moody dwelling on life discourse shared through a fog of cigarette smoke, enigmatic glances and languid stretches on an unmade bed.

The two central characters were mixed up and unpredictable.

Tres Sexy and breathtaking.

The bedroom scene is one of the most pointless i have ever scene in all the movies I've watched...

The new and exciting techniques and attitude of Breathless are what create its reputation and why it is considered so important in the history of film.

Casting and acting are mediocre and bland.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 4: Worth watching.

I enjoyed it and thought nothing more.

There is one particular scene in the middle with Michel and Patricia talking in a hotel room, no action, nothing happens, even the discussion is nothing more than casual chit-chat, yet it is still highly intriguing that you can't take your eyes off of it.

So much has changed in the last 45 years, that the novelty of disjointed action seems tame and exaggerated crime drama falls flat by today's standards.

Well it did work on that level, but all style and no script don't make a movie work: it needs to have more substance, a solid narrative structure, a story, something that engages me or makes me feel for a character.

I found it fascinating.

Those people are usually hideously pretentious, and if you disagree with them, you'll be told, or at least made to feel, that you are somehow intellectually deficient, and therefore unable to understand a work of such substance.

It's one of the worst movies I've ever seen (and I'm a regular viewer of MST3K), and it is lauded by critics and famous film makers alike as a true masterpiece, up there with Citizen Kane, The Searchers, and Modern Times.

Indigestible, unbearable, murderous.

It is a boring film, badly directed, based on a childish screenplay, starring a young Jean-Paul Belmondo before he reached his age of acting maturity and whose style and manners move from "dramatic" to idiotic between endless bedroom conversations and changing face expressions fit to make you fall asleep.

Do we accept that young people can be pretentious or that they try to be cool or struggle with love in superficial ways, I think it all boils down to this.

ridiculous, false (not a single emotion is sensed), repetition of cliché senseless sentences, stupid plot, the only average scene is the last one; the only reason it got a success in the 1960s is a sheepish tendency to follow blindly the intellectual fashion of that time; i just saw it 40 years after the 1st time and had a very hard time to stay until the end; the French Nouvelle Vague does not match any of the contemporaneous high quality movies made by the other people; any Japanese, Iranian, Egyptian, Swedish or British (not to mention Hitch and American classics) great movie of the fifties is worth 1.000 Godards

À bout de soufflé is fast, cool, literate, entertaining and stylish.

The story, about an unlikeable cad who romances a young woman in Paris, is dull as dishwater.

With exception of the photography, the film is an over hyped complete waste of time.

A direction of a stunning virtuosity of a vivid offhanded, cam on shoulder , sensational and bitter dialogues , nervous and precise editing .

The camera-work is exciting.

The romance here is atypical, but so thrilling to see was broadcast for the world to see.

Breathless, however, is both extremely avant-garde (even today), yet still very entertaining.

Nowadays new movies are so sugar coated that it makes things bland.

A lot of the dialogue was improvised, and it seems that these two were not very good at that, as nearly all dialogue is either out of place, devoid of intelligence, or pretentious.

One for pretentious, bearding-rubbing students .

A stunning classic.

Technically new but empty .

Breathless has terrible improvised dialogue, horrendous editing in the form of jump cutting, mediocre acting, no story, no character development, no cinematic drama or emotional power and is in the end a poorly executed experiment instead of a film, and truly exposes Godard for the mediocrity that he is.

The plot, though intriguing, is secondary to the incredible presentation.

And yet "Breathless" is a kind of worship of Seberg, incomparably sharp and stunning in director Jean-Luc Godard's take.

After all, this was the "granddaddy" of all French New Wave films and it ushered in many, many self-indulgent films that were proclaimed "art" despite the fact that they often deliberately used shoddy production values and were disliked by the ordinary person because they "just didn't get it"--yeah, right.

I just don't think that for the sake of Art, every single element of a movie should be distant from a so-called 'old guard', you can do something fresh with old stuff, as you can make a very complex, intriguing , stylish and intelligent movie with very entertaining material.

Jean-Luc Godard's New Wave romantic-drama, credited with starting a newly-raw and exciting cycle in French cinema, involves Jean-Paul Belmondo as a thief on the run from police.

Apparently, if you make a movie disjointed, poorly edited, illogically paced, and really uninteresting, all you have to do is be French, call it "new wave" and you can get away with it.

He created terribly unlikeable characters engaging in a plot and a romance that no one could possibly care about, all the while carrying on pseudo-intellectual conversations grating on the last bit of patience I could muster.

So we see some physically stunning actors acting in a very counterculture manner, and are treated to the viewing a real film accomplishment - successfully delivering a product with "Risk" written all over it.