Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

Directed by Jacques Demy. Starring Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo.

I've never really been one to cry at movies regularly, and musicals are hit-and-miss with me, but this film is not only one of my favorite musicals but makes me cry every time I watch it. The film's opening scenes depict a young couple in love, but then reality sets in and they are parted and forced to accept life's compromises. This was Deneuve's star-making role, and Demy does justice to her youthful beauty and charisma here (though she wouldn't prove what a deep actress she could be until later in her career). Just as glorious are the Technicolor version of the title city and the all-sung score by Michel Legrand and Demy, with cornerstone song "I Will Wait for You" used adeptly throughout. This is a great and overwhelmingly emotional film.

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