La frontière de l’aube (Frontier of Dawn) [2008]

La frontière de l’aube is a French movie directed by Philippe Garrel, starring his son Louis Garrel, Laura Smet and Clémentine Poidatz.

François (Louis Garrel) is a photographer, who gets the job to take some portraits of starlet Carole (Laura Smet). They start an affair, even though Carole is married. But their passion is bound to fail.

The actors were well cast, but the story was predictable and the second half of the film left me bored to death. Beautiful shots and a good cast wasted.



Okay, so the first half of the movie was the affair between François and Carole, which ultimately ended in Carole’s accidental death/pretty much suicide after François breaks up with her because the whole situation gets too much for him. The second half is François starting to get over Carole’s death and falling in love with Ève (Clémentine Poidatz). But somehow he’s still haunted by Carole’s ghost.

The problem for me was most of all the second half. It seemed like a 45 minute build-up to a painfully obvious conclusion – François’ suicide. I saw no point and I was bored to death.

The first half, though, wasn’t perfect either. I felt like P. Garrel kept showing me the things I was least interested in and left the things out I wanted to see. Like how did the whole affair thing actually happen? What was that politic rambling by François all about?


I have to admit that I spent the first half hour trying to decide whether Louis Garrel is good-looking or not. (I decided on, well, he’s hot.) Laura Smet, on the other hand, is such a classic beauty… she really makes me reconsider my heterosexuality.

But that’s only on a sidenote.

Apart from the boredom issues, the movie was wonderfully shot, all in black and white, and very well acted. Maybe if I was in a different mood, I would have liked it, but as it was, I didn’t.


Nevertheless, I will keep an eye out for the Garrels – I do think that there’s a lot of potential in this film.


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