VAGABOND — CLASSIC FILM PICK
Agnes Varda’s sturdy neo-realistic social study of a fiercely individualistic young woman, who happily lives a hobo’s life on the road in France, is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Here is Varda inventing Cinema before our eyes. The gifted filmmaker of the French New Wave plays with style and form via a reverse bookend narrative about Mona (featuring a guileless early performance from Sandrine Bonnaire), a loner leading a makeshift lifestyle based on the people she comes across.
This touching film can rightfully be considered a feminist think-piece of the first water. Documentary techniques add to “Vagabond’s” humanist appeal as a timeless artifact of French womanhood in the ‘80s, and the social conditions of the time. Some men who Mona meets are more dangerous than others, but she soldiers through predictably unpredictable situations with the full force of her corporeal nature and abilities.
“Vagabond” achieves and effortless sense of social currency and filmic transparency. Everything rings true.
Not rated. 105 mins. (A+) (Five stars — out of five / no halves)