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Making Choices, Taking Chances

The Girl on the Bridge (La Fille sur le pont)
Produced by Films Christian Fechner and France 2 Cinéma
Directed by Patrice Leconte
Screenplay by Serge Frydman
Released by Paramount Pictures

Saving Grace
Produced by Homerun Productions and Portman Entertainment Group
Distributed by Fine Line Features
Directed by Nigel Cole
Screenplay by Mark Crowdy and Craig Ferguson

Steal This Movie!
Produced by Ardent Films and Greenlight Productions
Directed by Robert Greenwald
Screenplay based on books by Anita and Abbie Hoffman
Distributed by Lions Gate Films Inc.

Ever since Blaise Pascal made his wager on the infinite, it seems the French have been gridlocked at the intersection of chance and choice. In a universe of incalculable odds, how should a person place his bet? In his artful—but never artsy—film, The Girl on the Bridge, director Patrice Leconte takes up Pascal's challenge and, without abandoning its metaphysics, gives it a decidedly this-worldly turn. The result is an existential romantic comedy in the Gallic mode. If this sounds deep dish, remember that depth makes the soufflé rise.

The film's recipe begins with its surreal opening scene. We meet Adele, played by Vanessa Paradis, looking as grave as she...

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