Breathless

1960 | Drama/French New Wave | 87 minutes | In French with English subtitles

Info

Michel is a misfit who decides to steal a car so he can go to Italy. He is also out of control when he shoots a pursuing policeman. Penniless, he hooks up with  Patricia, his American love interest. The naive Patricia hides this wanted killer in her apartment. He seduces her and she becomes pregnant. When she learns that Michel is on the run, she betrays him. At first Michel chooses to surrender. But life in prison is not an option so he attempts to escape. Will he succeed or will his life end tragically? Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

Cast
Jean-Paul Belmondo (Michel Poiccard) / Jean Seberg (Patricia Franchini)
Why Stream This Film?
There’s a reason Breathless influenced such future great filmmakers like Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Peter Bogdanovich, and George Lucas. Godard introduced a new way to make films and he did so brilliantly.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 97%
Accolades
  • Berlin International Film Festival: Silver Bear for Best Director (Jean-Luc Godard)
  • 1960 Prix Jean Vigo Award
  • British Film Institute, 2012 “Sight and Sound Critics Poll.” The film ranked #13 of all-time great films

Now streaming on:

With the appearance of BREATHLESS, we have a film that is new—aesthetically and morally. This is Godard’s first full-length film and it establishes that he has a style of his own and a point of view. It is the epic of a romantic outlaw, as egocentric as romantics and outlaws always are, whose life seems the only natural one to him. It is a film of flawless consistency and uncompromised truth. 
Stanley Kauffmann

The New Republic

This movie liberated the cinema—the stories you could tell and the ways you could tell them—as clearly as Picasso freed painting and the Sex Pistols rebooted rock.
Ty Burr

The Boston Globe

BREATHLESS is a pop artifact and a daring work of art, made at a time when the two possibilities existed in a state of almost perfect convergence. That is the source of its uniqueness.
A.O. Scott

The New York Times

Modern movies begin here, with Jean-Luc Godard’s BREATHLESS. No debut film since CITIZEN KANE in 1942 has been as influential. What is most revolutionary about the movie is its headlong pacing, its cool detachment, its dismissal of authority, and the way its narcissistic young heroes are obsessed with themselves and oblivious to the larger society.
Roger Ebert

RogerEbert.com

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