A day in the life of a young Parisian woman, Valerie, shot in real time. Follow Valerie around as she meditates on the paths of human nature she crosses, sometimes comic, sometimes hostile, which lead her to make importan... more »t decisions about her future.« less
An outstanding film, but probably not for all tastes.
Rebecca | 01/07/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like Godard's VIVRE SA VIE, A SINGLE GIRL is ultimately an affectionate character study of its leading lady, Virginie Ledoyen. Thus, how you respond to this film will depend on how captivated you are by Ledoyen's performance. Prior to viewing A SINGLE GIRL, I was somewhat baffled by her rise to something of cult status in French cinema. Yes, as one reviewer mentioned, she has a cute face, but there is no shortage of cute faces in cinema these days. What is most striking about Ledoyen's performance in A SINGLE GIRL, and what really convinced me of her talent, is the depth and range of feeling she is able to convey just by her movements and expressions. Although she is on screen for the whole picture, she has relatively few lines, and what her character does say, is usually evasive. And yet in order to sell her character, Ledoyen must make her viewer feel the anxiety of a young woman confronting an uncertain situation. One of the more remarkable passages of this film is when Ledoyen calls her mother, and in that phone conversation attempts to tell her mother everything without saying much of anything. It is a riveting scene which has her character searching for maternal affection, while trying to mask her vulnerability. If you are not similarly enchanted by Ledoyen's performance, it goes without saying that you will not appreciate this film. As the screenplay is lackluster in points and the ending is dissapointing, A SINGLE GIRL succeeds mainly because of Ledoyen's performance (though the supprorting cast is also excellent). If you do not find her peformance absorbing, the real time narration will lose all of its force. As a result, I would recommend that you rent this DVD first. I highly recommend that you give this film an honest viewing (I think it is among the most significant works of the nineties), but it is not for all taste. The Winstar DVD is subpar, as usual. Fortunately the film is presented in widescreen format; however, the transfer is very dark and muddled. Nonetheless, if you were as captivated by this film as I was, you no doubt will be able to tolerate the mediocre presentation."
A Single Actress
William Spears | Chicago, Illinois United States | 07/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A Single Girl is a remarkable movie with an equally remarkable actress. Virginie Ledoyen is on the screen for the whole movie, often by herself in her own thoughts-but you never tire of watching her. This is partly because she is so pretty, and partly because she is so alive on screen. But mostly it is because she is a terrific actress, she goes from flirting to fury in the space of a breath. Finally, you have to credit the director,Benoit Jacquot, with developing a story and a rhythm which allowed Virginie to explore what being a single girl can mean. I agree with the other customer review, where was the academy award nomination for Virginie?"
One of the best French films I have ever seen!
Rebecca | Charleston, SC | 04/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is fantastic. I had to watch it for a French class (I am a French major) and was reluctant at first to even bother paying attention. But the movie is very, very unique (filmed in real time except for a jump ahead to two years later) and exceedlingly well-filmed. Virginie is a fabulous actress (and very brave to be filmed in such a manner), and she portrays the problem of wanting to be a single, independent woman and mother in France. Her portrayal is very important to contemporary French society, and she lives up to the task. This movie is honestly one of my top five favorite French movies, and I have seen many!"
Excellent commentary on relationships
G. P. Pivateau | Houston, TX United States | 12/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although this movie seems to center on the scintillatingly beautiful Virginie Ledoyen, it actually provides an in-depth portrait of the nature of relationships. While trying to make a decision about her life, Ledoyen encounters a number of characters, each engaged in a negative relationship. She witnesses the joys and pitfalls of the people she meets, and the sight of each hurtful relationship seems to make her withdraw. The triumph of the movie is watching Ledoyen grow more remote and distant with each encounter, leading to her own seemingly baffling decision at the end of the movie. I would encourage anyone to watch this movie and understand that it is more than a story about Ledoyen's character-it is a commentary piece, with Ledoyen representing the audience. Five stars."
Virginie Ledoyen is a revelation!
G. P. Pivateau | 01/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As John Lennon once wrote, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."This is a very simple film, and that simplicity gives it an extraordinary beauty. And speaking of "extraordinary beauty," Virginie Ledoyen is a revelation, a young Isabelle Adjani in the making.Ledoyen plays Valerie, a young French girl who one morning meets her boyfriend in cafe, argues with him, then runs off to a hotel a couple blocks away to begin a new job. Her new co-workers greet her in the manner co-workers always greet a newcomer: some with welcome arms and others with contempt. When Valerie gets a break and runs back to the cafe to finish the argument with her boyfriend, we feel every tick of the clock. We know she is taking too long on the break and has got to get back!But everything that happens to Valerie is so very real and so very urgent because the film is shot in real time. This was a daring attempt by the director, Benoit Jacquot, but his gamble hits the bullseye. Of course, with Virginie Ledoyen to follow around with his camera, Jacquot could hardly go wrong."