Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Movie Review: "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" (1964)

Director: Jacques Demy
Year: 1964
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

A young woman is forced to make a tough life decision about her romantic future when her boyfriend is drafted for military service and is forced to go fight in a war in another country for two years, leaving her home alone and pregnant.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg 1964 movie still Catherine Deneuve Nino Castelnuovo
"But I would never be able to live without you!" (Image Source)
"The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" embraces the word "musical" literally. This is a French musical romance written and directed by Jacques Demy. It is part of his informal romantic trilogy, which also includes "Lola" and "The Young Girls of Rochefort." The film stars Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo as Genevieve and Guy, a young couple who are very much in love. Just as the two are beginning to think about getting married, Guy gets drafted for mandatory military service and is shipped off to fight a war in Algeria. Unbeknownst to him, Genevieve is pregnant with his child, and her mother (Anne Vernon) is in financial trouble. After Guy has been away for several months, a wealthy diamond dealer named Roland Cassard (Marc Michel) takes an interest in Genevieve and is accepting of the fact she is pregnant with another man's baby. Now, Genevieve is forced to make a choice to wait for Guy and risk financial insecurity, or marry Roland and have a secure future for her, her mother, and her child.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg 1964 musical movie Anne Vernon
"You don't just fall in love with some face you've seen in the street." (Image Source)
"The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" is a brilliant film that has stood the test of time. It remains just as powerful now as it was when it was released in 1964. Its impact is seemingly everlasting, which is apparent as serves as one of the many inspirations for recent Oscar nominee "La La Land." Now that we have watched this film, we can see the numerous parallels and similarities between the two films, not only in terms of its look and coloration but in its narrative as well. This is a gorgeous piece of cinema full of bright colors that pop out of the screen, and immersive songs that will deliver an emotional experience that will leave you wrecked and heartbroken. It is a romance, but it is a bittersweet one that has both intense moments of joy and adoration as well as regret and anguish. The narrative is told in an intriguing style in three stanzas. The first is focused on Genevieve and Guy as a couple, the second is focused on her, and the third is focused on him. As each piece of the story unfolds, what starts out as a beautiful, tender tale of young love grows more and more sorrowful. It will cause your heart to ache long after the credits have stopped rolling. By the end of the film, I was in bawling. The singing is quite good, though we can't say the individual songs are all that catchy considering each piece of music runs together and simply includes the film's dialogue sung to a melody. That being said, the actors, mostly Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo, manage to convey a lot of emotion through their facial expressions and body language without compromising the tone of their songs.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg 1964 musical movie Marc Michel
"Absence is a funny thing. I feel like Guy left years ago. I look at this photo, and I forget what he really looks like. When I think of him, it's this photo that I see." (Image Source)
"The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" might be 55 years old, but its style, grace, music, aesthetic, and inspiration remains alive today. Even though we are just now experiencing for the first time, nothing about it feels passe. The genuine love, heartache, grief, and happiness shown in this movie are relatively unmatched today. It is one of the greatest love stories of all time. What a remarkable film!

My Rating: 10/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 98%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

Please be sure to check out Lolo Loves Films all over the internet!

No comments:

Post a Comment