Vagabond (1985)

Sandrine Bonnaire, Macha Méril, Stéphane Freiss, Setti Ramdane,
Sans toit ni loi is a movie starring Sandrine Bonnaire, Macha Méril, and Stéphane Freiss. A young woman's body is found frozen in a ditch. Through flashbacks and interviews, we see the events that led to her inevitable death.
  • 7.7 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Agnès Varda, Director:
  • Oury Milshtein, Producer:

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10 / 10

A Great Masterpiece

There are many different reasons to watch a film. I personally enjoy casual get out the six pack of beer type movies and I appreciate sincere great film art. Vagabond is one of the greatest films I have ever seen. I was drawn into this deeply tragic tale from the very opening scene with the wonderful music and cinematography. The documentary style used as a device to tell the story of Mona was bold and very appropriate to convey the depth of the impact this person had on the other characters in the film.

The acting of Ms. Bonnaire convinced me to care about this deeply troubled character and the isolated existential life she led. I personally have met in my own life people living in this way and I am always perplexed that I can not understand what is going on in that person's head. This film is and example of what makes great art. It tells a story that is universal and yet very personal. See this film. (10 out of 10).

10 / 10

A masterpiece.

A Rave! Beautifully photographed by Patrick Blossier, every shot, every frame is a delightfully balanced composition of light, color, and framing.

What's more amazing still is how Varda can make such a depressing story so mesmerizing. It is a touching, enchanting story of a lost girl slowly sinking deeper and deeper into society's refuse pile. And even though from the first reel we know her fate, we have to see how it unfolds. I don't remember the last time I saw such a beautiful film. One for the film schools. A masterpiece of French neo-realism.

10 / 10

Mona's journey will touch you deeply

Perhaps Sandrine Bonnaire's "Mona" represents my greatest fear -- of being alone and broke. That is why she has remained with me for almost twenty years. Remembering the first time I met her is nostalgic to me. I walked the roads of rural France with her and liked her for not begging to be liked. Perhaps it was love more than like. Her journey made me tearful. I mourned the inevitability of her existence.

Such is Agnes Varda's talent that the movie affected me so deeply -- my favourite movie of hers, by the way. The landscapes are so vivid, the dead tree branches so bare yet so brittle in the harsh elements. The compositions possess a fixed, absolute nature that conveys a hopeless destiny. There is no offensive beauty in Mona's destitution, there is merely purity.

Because so few motion pictures resonate with this much intensity and feeling for me, I go through periods in which I feel like I'm wasting my life away seeing so many, but when I consider the alternative, Mona's choices suddenly feel real to me.

Extraordinary in every sense.

Make a gallant effort to see VAGABOND. It will touch you deeply and wake you from the slumber of indifference.

8 / 10

One of Varda's best films

We know from the very beginning the fate of Sandrine Bonnaire's Mona, the "Vagabond" of the title in Agnes Varda's magnificent film. She's dead, a frozen corpse in a ditch and then, in flashbacks, we see how she got there. Varda never passes judgment and "Vagabond", like her very best films, is a work of observation. As well as a handful of professional actors she uses the people of the towns and villages Bonnaire passes through, giving the film an air of reality while Bonnaire herself is simply superb.

Varda doesn't require her to do anything but exist and it's a very 'un-actressy' performance, closer to real life than to what we are used to seeing in the movies. Now and again the film dips into the conventional as if Varda is trying to put some meat on its bones but for the most part, this is a remarkable work and one of the best of its director's career.

8 / 10

Moving, sharply observed drama.

What I admired the most about "Vagabond" is the objective, evenhanded approach of the director towards her "heroine". She neither praises nor condemns her chosen "lifestyle", she simply observes it - and she observes it so well that this feels like the work of someone who's had first-hand experiences with similar people and surroundings. To be perfectly honest, the film doesn't have much psychological (or sociological) depth, and it can get boring at times while you're watching it, but right after it's over, you know that you've seen a good movie. (***)