FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Just a Breath Away (2018)

DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH…

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Just a Breath Away (Dans la brume)…

Gravitas Ventures

Separated parents Mathieu and Anna (Romain Duris and Olga Kurylenko) try to protect their daughter (Fantine Harduin), whose medical condition keeps her confined to a tank, from a rising toxic gas cloud that envelops Paris.

Daniel Roby‘s race-against-time thriller has all the makings of a genre masterpiece but never reaches its full potential. This is despite some utterly captivating action sequences; Parisians running from the toxic cloud, for example, is incredibly well done and the film overall benefits from Pierre-Yves Bastard‘s cinematography.

Romain Duris, by far one of French cinema’s most interesting actors for the past two decades, and the prolific Olga Kurylenko are unsurprisingly excellent as loving, selfless parents Mathieu and Anna, who go through hell and high water for their child. So, while there’s never really a dull moment, Guillaume Lemans‘s screenplay fails to delve deeply into our protagonists—neither as individuals nor as a couple. In contrast, we have more investment in the elderly couple played by Michel Robin and Anna Gaylor, who offer Mathieu and Anna refuge, but the film isn’t about them. So while the stakes are high, there is an unshakable disappointment that our central duo were not fleshed out more during the writing stage. An emotional connection is vital to disaster movies such as these so that when selected characters inevitably begin to drop like flies, we not only care about who lives but how they manage to do it.

In spite of this significant flaw, Just a Breath Away works on a superficial level and is still well-worth a look, if only for its stunning visuals and a reason (not that you need one) to see the two leads do so much with only a cloud. 3 / 5

 

Starting: Romain Duris, Olga Kurylenko, Fantine Harduin, Michel Robin, Anna Gaylor, Réphaël Ghrenassia, Erja Malatier, Alexis Manenti, Maurice Antoni, Robin Barde, Geoffroy De La Taille [uncredited], Margot Maricot [uncredited], Christopher Ramoné [uncredited].

Director: Daniel Roby | Producers: Guillaume Colboc, Nicolas Duval Adassovsky | Writer: Guillaume Lemans | Music: Michel Corriveau | Cinematographer: Pierre-Yves Bastard | Editors: Stan Collet, Yvann Thibaudeau

Available: SBS On Demand

 

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

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