The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg

  • 1964
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Musical

Although inspired by the Hollywood musical, Jacques Demy's vibrant, inventive film forgoes the familiar backdrop of a Broadway show or movie premiere to revel instead in the myth and magic of everyday romance, in all its sentimental and banal glory. Not quite a musical or an operetta, THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG is, as Demy has described it, "a film in color...read more

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Although inspired by the Hollywood musical, Jacques Demy's vibrant, inventive film forgoes the familiar backdrop of a Broadway show or movie premiere to revel instead in the myth and magic of everyday romance, in all its sentimental and banal glory. Not quite a musical or an operetta,

THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG is, as Demy has described it, "a film in color and song." What separates it from the Hollywood musical is Demy and composer Michel Legrand's decision to deliver all the dialogue--every last meaningless word--in song form. Divided into three acts--Departure, Absence,

Return--and set in Cherbourg on the coast of Normandy, the film begins with the blossoming romance of two young lovers: Genevieve (the beautiful 19-year-old Catherine Deneuve), who works in her mother's umbrella store, and Guy (Nino Castelnuovo), a service station attendant. They fall in love,

have an evening of romantic bliss, and are then separated when Guy receives his draft notice. In the second act, Genevieve learns that she is pregnant and, after failing to hear from Guy, agrees to marry the accommodating Roland (Marc Michel) and move to Paris. Voila, Guy returns to Cherbourg. A

feast of movement, color, and song, THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG transforms the quotidian into a celebration. By inflating the life of a common shop girl into a musical spectacle, Demy succeeds in turning a tedious existence into a fantasy, yet he and cinematographer Jean Rabier and art director

Bernard Evein do so without creating a false world. Instead they discover the "poetic realism" in Genevieve's world of umbrellas, hat, chairs, and shop windows.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Although inspired by the Hollywood musical, Jacques Demy's vibrant, inventive film forgoes the familiar backdrop of a Broadway show or movie premiere to revel instead in the myth and magic of everyday romance, in all its sentimental and banal glory. Not qu… (more)

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