Landau Releasing Organization (LRO) | Release Date: February 13, 2004
7.5
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 15 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
12
Mixed:
3
Negative:
0
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10
PeterW.Feb 19, 2006
Beyond comparison with any other film. It is unique in so many ways. It may very well be perfect.
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8
JayHFeb 14, 2009
What a marvelous and original film. The score and songs are amazingly good and very memorable. The attractive cast is excellent, very inventively directed by Jacques Demy. The sets are particularly good. Unusual and always interesting.
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7
lasttimeisawJul 16, 2014
A three-act musical (or four if one counts the final reunion independently) with all dialogue sung by its characters, the second of its unique kind I’ve watched so far, the previous one is Tom Hooper’s LES MISÉRABLES (2012, 6/10), THEA three-act musical (or four if one counts the final reunion independently) with all dialogue sung by its characters, the second of its unique kind I’ve watched so far, the previous one is Tom Hooper’s LES MISÉRABLES (2012, 6/10), THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG is director Jacques Demy’s third feature, a controversial Palme d’Or winner, more for its groundbreaking technique than its own substance, nevertheless it instantly launched the starlet Catherine Deneuve into stardom and has initiated her extended and illustrious career not only limited in the French cinema.

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8
SpangleNov 5, 2016
Upon hearing comparisons between the works of Jacques Demy and Damien Chazelle's forthcoming musical La La Land, I knew I had to watch some of Demy's work in anticipation of that film. My first - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg - certainly matchedUpon hearing comparisons between the works of Jacques Demy and Damien Chazelle's forthcoming musical La La Land, I knew I had to watch some of Demy's work in anticipation of that film. My first - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg - certainly matched and exceeded my expectations. A musical about life, love, and loss, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a beautifully written film that is imperfect, but gorgeously crafted. Operatic in style, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg features no grand set pieces nor any single song. Rather, it is written as a typical film would be, except it is sung. The end result is a beautifully written film that may lack true character development, but its music is so brilliantly put together, it is easy to turn a blind eye to its flaws.

Telling the story of Genevieve (Catherine Deneuve) and her relationship with Guy (Nino Castelnuevo), a man who is set to leave for war in Algeria, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg shows both the dark and light side of love and marriage. Demy's film does not shy away from showing the pain it can cause and the torment it leaves Genevieve with when Guy leaves for war, but the film equally shows the ecstasy and joy. The end result is a sweet film that feels endlessly watchable and thoroughly enjoyable. Though not truly dreamlike - like La La Land has been described - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg does have a certain airy and light feeling to it. This is matched by the largely bright color scheme of the film, which has the impact of making the film feel truly vibrant. This vibrancy is matched the sung dialogue. Had this been a spoken film, it would have lost much of its impact. As it stands, the singing bolsters the beauty of the rest of the film and breathes life into it as a whole.

However, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is far from perfect. Though beautifully sung and brilliantly acted - especially by Deneuve - the film's characters leave much to be desired. By the end, it feels as though things speed along too quickly in the story and things just happen. This leaves many dramatic sequences feeling quite hollow and emotionless for the audience, as they are far too sudden to have a true impact. Yet, individually, its characters are terrific. Well-written and able to communicate often without speaking, the film's characters seem incredibly real and authentic both in 1960s France and the modern world.

Musically, the film is great. All of the actors complete their singing lines terrifically and the score - which is a constant in the background - is fantastic. The music certainly, as mentioned before, contributes to this light, airy, and warm feeling the film radiates. Though the plot can often depict somewhat traumatic experiences for the characters, the film never ceases to be a pleasing and comfortable experience. This is, in large part, thanks to the music that provides a degree of pleasure that escapes explanation.

As a whole, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg - the first film I have seen by Demy - is a tremendous experience. A romantic musical, the film depicts both the good and the bad side of love with equal passion. The music and the signing are tremendous and wind up covering up the main negative of the film, which is the far-too-quick pacing of the story towards the end of the film that removes much of the emotional impact it could have.
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