Gerard Depardieu directs this French film set in a small town in the 1960s. It provides an anatomy of a deteriorating marriage that is eventually dissolved by adultery. Georges (Gerard Depardieu) and Mina (Carole Bouquet) have been married for 15 years and have a teenage son. Their life together is put under severe stress when he is forced to close down his construction firm and seek employment elsewhere. Mina, bored and restless with her life, takes a job as a cleaning woman and maid for a wealthy woman who owns a manor. Georges reluctantly starts working on a bridge construction project in the area. He has to live on site and only returns home on weekends.
While attending West Side Story in a local movie theatre with her son, Mina sits next to Matthias (Charles Berling), the engineer in charge of building the bridge. They are immediately attracted to each other, sharing a deeply emotional response to the romance in the movie. The two begin an affair, which is obvious to Mina's son and her wealthy employee at the manor where Matthias is staying.
The Bridge depicts the very painful process of uncoupling. People can drift away from each other without really noticing it's happening. That is the case with Georges and Mina. She wants out of her marriage and is enthralled by the possibilities of a new life with Matthias. Since she and George don't share their deepest feelings or frustrations with each other, there is no process in place to halt the disintegration of their relationship. At one point, Georges says to her: "We talk too little and too late." By the time he realizes the marriage is in real trouble, Mina has already gone in a number of ways. He has no choice but to take custody of their son and rebuild his life.