Who was Gustav Eiffel and what drove him to create Paris’ most vertiginous landmark lie at the heart of this sumptuous period drama.
Early in his career, while building a bridge in the town of Bordeaux, Gustav Eiffel commits an act of bravery that is witnessed by Adrienne Bourgès, the daughter of a local, upper-class dignitary. A romance is kindled but insurmountable obstacles lie in their way. All the while, Eifel is conceiving his life’s work – a monument in the country’s capital.
Martin Bourboulon’s film should not be mistaken for a biopic, for the romance that lies at the heart of it, and which drives the narrative forward, is a fiction. But that doesn’t stand in the way of the pleasure to be had in Bourboulon’s breathtaking realisation of 19th-century France. It’s an impressive sight and he weaves his drama through it to create an entertaining romantic drama. Romain Duris is perfect as Eiffel, all smouldering looks and easy charm. While _Sex Education_’s Emma Mackey is equally impressive as Adrienne.