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Bonjour Tristesse review

Jean Seberg plays a spoilt socialite in Otto Preminger's flimsy drama

Otto Preminger’s second film in a row with Jean Seberg (following her debut in Saint Joan ), this 1958 French riviera-set tale arrived two years before she became a darling of French New Wave.

Here she’s Cécile, the spoilt daughter to David Niven’s ageing playboy, plotting against her father’s latest romantic quest (Deborah Kerr).

Contrasting the picture-perfect backdrop, Saul Bass’ title sequence and Juliette Gréco’s rendition of the title song add to the melancholy.

But clumsy structuring and superficial performances mean this doesn’t pack much emotional punch.

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James Mottram

James Mottram is a freelance film journalist, author of books that dive deep into films like Die Hard and Tenet, and a regular guest on the Total Film podcast. You'll find his writings on GamesRadar+ and Total Film, and in newspapers and magazines from across the world like The Times, The Independent, The i, Metro, The National, Marie Claire, and MindFood.