Bil’s rating (out of 5): B. USA, 1983. Breathless Associates, Miko Productions. Screenplay by L.M. Kit Carson, Jim McBride, based on A Bout De Souffle, Story by Francois Truffaut, Screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard. Cinematography by Richard H. Kline. Produced by Martin Erlichman. Music by Jack Nitzsche. Production Design by Richard Sylbert. Costume Design by J. Allen Highfill. Film Editing by Robert Estrin.
When a film is popular because of its style and not its story, why the hell would you bother to remake it? Such is the case with Breathless, for while Godard’s original had a really funky narrative and some terrific dialogue, it wasn’t so much his plotting as his innovative camera style that made it so successful, and this becomes more apparent when watching this update. Richard Gere, the film’s only saving grace, is immensely fun (if eventually tiresome) as a car thief who gets himself into some hot trouble with the law and heads to his on-again, off-again girlfriend (Valérie Kaprisky) for refuge. They talk a lot, just like Belmondo and Jean Seberg did, but this time they’re a lot more naked; if seeing Gere dancing in the shower or Kaprisky sitting around in her tits is your thing, go ahead and indulge, but I found it boring. Kaprisky is the biggest detraction, giving a flat performance that doesn’t even scrape the surface of Seberg’s charming original.