Hard to believe that this timeless classic is the feature debut of Jean-Luc Godard (Alphaville, Masculin Feminin).
Driving a stolen car on his way to Paris, petty thief Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo – Pierrot le fou, Casino Royale) shoots a policeman. Hooking up with the cool American journalist Jean Seberg (Saint Joan, Lilith), he needs to collect monies owed, avoid arrest and persuade Patricia to flee to Italy with him.
It’s all very free-form and hip as Godard encourages the flow of the narrative to take itself wherever it needs to go. Paris is glorious but the overly intrusive jazz soundtrack is wholly distracting and the jump cut editing plain annoying. A sexy Breathless is one of the groundbreaking films of the French New Wave with its innovation and style, including filming directly on the streets. Yet, 60 years after it was made, there’s a distracting sense of artifice and pretentiousness.