Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg)
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Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg)
Jacques Demy's 1964 masterpiece is a pop-art opera, or, to borrow the director's own description, a film in song. This simple romantic tragedy begins in 1957. Guy Foucher (Nino Castelnuovo), a 20-year-old French auto mechanic, has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery (a luminous Catherine Deneuve), an employee in her widowed mother's chic but financially embattled umbrella shop. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of combat in Algeria, he and Geneviève make love. She becomes pregnant and must choose between waiting for Guy's return or accepting… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It continues to charm and delight for the same reasons it did back in 1964."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Seemingly banal and sentimental on the surface, [director Jacques] Demy has avoided these aspects by tasteful handling and the right balance in emotion, compassion and narrative."
‑ , Variety
"What's so overpoweringly beautiful about The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg is that it matches human-scaled feelings of regret with the color and intensity of the movies Demy loved as a boy."
‑ Noel Murray, The Dissolve
"Jacques Demy and Michel Legrand's reinvention of the movie musical has tinsel, Technicolor, and a beating, broken heart."
‑ Bill Weber, Slant Magazine
"Everything in the movie is heightened; watching it, you may feel as if the screen is emitting caffeine."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"It is a small picture, a boutique musical. But it's lovely."
‑ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"Umbrellas makes escapist play with the stuff of kitchen-sink social realism."
‑ Ben Walters, Time Out
"It's so pink this film. If you want a selection of wallpapers to choose from, this film has just about every single one. I think it's lovely."
‑ Margaret Pomeranz, At the Movies (Australia)
"A number of different factors raise this absurdly simple scenario to the level of highest excellence, but the chief among them is surely Michel Legrand's iconic score."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"This bitter-sweet love story set to Michel Legrand's music from writer director Jacques Demy marks the film debut of the then 20 year old Catherine Deneuve, whose delicate beauty and screen presence has enchanted the world ever since"
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"As spun-sugar holiday treats go, "Umbrellas" is hard to resist."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"Not only has he resurrected the quaint and artificial device of having the dialogue set to music and unrealistically sung, but he uses this operatic method to tell a story that is so banal... it wouldn't get beyond a reader in Hollywood."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is inspired as much by René Clair's innovative French classic of 1930, Sous les toits de Paris, and the prewar Pagnol Marseilles trilogy (Marius/Fanny/César) as by Hollywood."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"A truly unique and wonderful film from a director who stands apart in the French cinema canon."
‑ Fran Hortop, Film4
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com

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