When I first saw Vagabond (1985) by French New Wave filmmaker Agnès Varda, it was a revelation. Varda’s story begins with finding a woman’s frozen body lying in a ditch, and the movie pieces together the last weeks of the young woman’s life through interviews with people who met her on her travels.
Sandrine Bonnaire gives the character depth and complexity, unlike any character I’d ever seen on screen. She’s unlikable yet sympathetic, and by the end of the of the film, I found myself hoping for a different ending. The imagery added to the haunting atmosphere of the film; images that have stayed with me over the years. Bonnaire won a well-deserved Best Actress Cesar for her performance, and the film took the top prize at the Venice Film Festival.
Vagabond is available from The Criterion Collection and can be seen on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.
— KIM CUMMINGS
(Edited on Oct. 23, 11:55 am EST.)