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Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: A full-fledged song-and-dance musical, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench tells the story of two separated lovers, a young jazz trumpeter and an introverted woman, who slowly wind their way back into each other's lives through a series of romances and near-romances punctuated by song. (Variance Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dec 12, 2010
    100
    Damien Chazelle's extraordinary black-and-white retro dream of a feature debut.
  2. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Dec 12, 2010
    91
    If John Cassavetes had directed a jazz musical by Jacques Demy, it might have looked something like this.
  3. Reviewed by: J. Hoberman
    Dec 12, 2010
    90
    Guy and Madeline is at once self-conscious and breezy, clumsy and deft, diffident and sweet, annoying and ecstatic. It's amateurish in the best sense, and it radiates cinephilia. No movie I've seen this year has given me more joy.
  4. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Dec 9, 2010
    80
    You might want to tuck Damien Chazelle's name into your memory bank if his filmmaking debut, the terrific jazz improvisation that is Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, is any indication of what his future might hold.
  5. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Dec 12, 2010
    80
    A surprise, a delight and a whimsical experiment.
  6. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Dec 16, 2010
    75
    Not only does the movie look like it's set somewhere, it feels, cinematically, to have arrived from someplace - early John Cassavetes, the French New Wave, Eastern Europe.
  7. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Dec 12, 2010
    60
    That the duo will work their way back to each other is never in doubt, although Chazelle doesn't succumb to easy sentiment. If anything, he moves too far in the other direction, aiming for a wizened ambiguity that doesn't entirely come off.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Jan 13, 2014
    10
    Really sweet and moving. The people in it felt like real people. The music is lovely. It's a different kind of movie, you need an open mind, but it's one of my fave indies of recent years Expand
  2. Nov 10, 2010
    1
    This film does not display the level of thought, planning, and meaningful execution that it rather painfully reaches for. Having seen films that create very successful raw and realistic depictions of human relationships, this film's blatant, aching attemps render as weak , forced and misguided. The whole film reads as a premature stride towards a 'genius' work, and in falling short the film seems wobbly and underthought. The 'artistic' elements are tacked onto to an unstable, meandering, and inconclusive plot. The seemingly unnecessary black-and-white filming, shots taken from behind blurry heads and laughably awkward song-and-dance numbers add to a cringe-factor that had the audience giggling anxiously rather than in enjoyment. Truly can't understand the high ratings, especially from sources I usually trust. Collapse