Paris 36


Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 19
  2. Negative: 5 out of 19

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Critic Reviews

  1. 75
    A gleaming hunk of French period schmaltz expertly rendered by director Christophe Barratier.
  2. Paris 36 has a beguilingly authentic sound and offers a blend of impassioned sentiment and harsh, even brutal grit
  3. The film is deliberately old-fashioned in its approach; the story line is resolutely linear and the production values are deluxe. It all makes for a fairly enjoyable, if schematic, backstage extravaganza.
  4. 63
    It's pleasant and amusing. If I had seen it before I was born, I would have loved it.
  5. The nicest that can be said of this unapologetically schmaltzy, and not unenjoyable, affair is that it is the best 1936 musical made in 2009.
  6. Barratier directs with a jaunty artifice more typically seen on stage, but with the exception of Arnezeder, his cast turns theatricality to its advantage. They're offering us a sunny fantasy during a cloudy time, and seem well aware that we're unlikely to resist.
  7. 58
    Politics and art come together in predictable, moderately enjoyable fashion in Paris 36.
  8. Hopelessly amateurish, the troupe is saved by a remarkably pretty young blonde called Douce with a sweet soprano to match her angel face. The gifted, unknown actress-singer who plays her, Nora Arnezeder, also saves the movie, which would otherwise blur into a mass of droopy, mustached, big-honkered Gallic character actors.
  9. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    Schematically scripted tale revels in its multiple story arcs, but shows signs of battle fatigue in the later reels.
  10. 50
    The overstuffed film lumbers across clichés of the heart and of history until it reaches a big, tune-filled climax that isn't worth the wait.
  11. A little like spending the holidays with strangers. The spirits are high, the relationships are warm, the personal stories have a shared history, and even though you're on the outside of things, you appreciate the people in a remote and perhaps admiring sort of way. Still, when it's time to leave, you're not sorry.
  12. 50
    A handsomely made French musical that never really soars.
  13. The movie is almost rescued by the wonderful 1930's style songs (written by Reinhardt Wanger and Frank Thomas) that populate its final act.
  14. The movie is essentially a pastiche, as musty as a flea market.
  15. 38
    In short, the financial crisis and social upheaval of 1930s France never looked so appealing.
  16. Like Amélie's scrubbed-up "City of Lights," Paris 36 is an antiseptic arthouse trifle, so eager to soothe that it only numbs.
  17. 30
    In the end, it's much ado about nothing. Oh, the ennui, the ennui.
  18. 10
    So shameless in its pandering, sentimental vision of Frenchness as to constitute something of a national embarrassment.
  19. It's like a pastry that's been sitting on the shelf for 60 years.

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