Synopsis: A brilliant and neurotic attorney (Fabrice Luchini) goes to Monaco to defend a famous criminal. But, instead of focusing on the case, he falls for a beautiful she-devil (Louise Bourgoin), who turns him into a complete wreck. Hopefully, his zealous bodyguard (Roschdy Zem) will step in and put everything back in order... Or will he? [Synopsis courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.]
Round-up: Reviews for "The Girl from Monaco" have proven that Anne Fontaine is a provocative and interesting filmmaker but also that not everything she does is effective. Mick LaSalle, in The San Francisco Chronicle, likes the film, "It's a measure of Fontaine's intelligence as a director - and, dare we say it, to the advantages of a having a female director - that Audrey remains distinct, unsettling and never easy to quite pin down. Audrey is [Louise] Bourgoin's first screen role, and yet, either through Fontaine's guidance or her own sense of proportion, she never tries to charm or assure us. She keeps something in reserve and at times she even dares to be repellent. It's an audacious debut, in a notable, worthwhile picture." In The New York Times, A.O. Scott is not moved by the film, but is moved by the setting: "If in the end the film is neither a cogent psychological thriller nor an effervescent sex comedy, it does at least have an interesting sense of place. The beauty of Monaco’s physical setting and the majesty of some of its architecture is affirmed, though Ms. Fontaine also suggests that there is more to this tiny, curious country than casinos and the legacy of Princess Grace. Though maybe not that much more." Roger Ebert, in the Chicago Sun-Times acknowledges the film's niche audience and unique style: "It is about its characters, not its stars. It assumes an audience that appreciates complex motivations and an adult situation. Nobody gets shot, and a 'chase' down Monaco’s lovely mountain roads takes place within the speed limit." To counter this claim to uniqueness is The Philadelphia Inquirer's Stephen Rea, who classifies the film as "[a]t best diverting, at worst an almost self-parodic compendium of French film cliches." Most disappointed of all is Slate's Ryan Stewart who complains, "'The Girl from Monaco' is a frustratingly suspense-free affair, troubling to set up central mysteries and then keeping them almost exclusively on the film's periphery, while concentrating attention on an uninvolving, unlikely love triangle."