A film musical in which every line is sung. The frame is about workers during a strike. They also prepare and perform a demonstration. Two personal relations develop against this background... See full summary »
Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.
Told in four acts, the lives of Geneviève Emery and Guy Foucher of Cherbourg France are presented. Act 1 begins in November 1957, when sixteen year old Geneviève, who works in her widowed mother's umbrella shop called "Les parapluies de Cherbourg", and twenty year old Guy, who works as a mechanic at a gas station, are madly in love and want to get married. They are reluctant to tell anyone not only of their want to get married, but of their relationship. Geneviève believes her mother will think her too young, and would want her to marry someone with better prospects, especially considering her own tenuous financial situation. And Guy is more concerned now about not abandoning his ailing godmother, Aunt Élise, who raised him, and who he looks after along with a young woman named Madeleine. Act 2, told largely from Geneviève's perspective, begins in February 1958. Guy, drafted to fight for the French in Algeria, has been gone for two months, and is expected to be gone for two years. ... Written by
Roland tells Genevieve's mother he once loved a woman named "Lola." "Lola" is a Demy film from 1961, in which Marc Michel plays the same character of Roland. See more »
In act 1, the young couple go to the theater to see the opera Carmen. But the sound track that is used in this scene is definitely not from Carmen. It is just some stock sound track that sounds vaguely operatic. See more »
My little girl, you're crazy! Thinking of marriage at sixteen!
Am I too ugly or too stupid?
No, you're not ugly. You're not the fairest of them all, but you're neither ugly nor stupid. You have plenty of time. You think you're in love, but love is something different. You do not just fall in love with a face in the street.
He's a young man whom I've met several times, and he loves me. We want to get married.
I am shocked!
I went to the theater with him last night.
So you ...
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An offbeat but beautifully stylised and colourful piece of cinema
This must be amongst the most distinctive, idiosyncratic and exquisite films I have seen in a long while. There is nothing particularly new about the plot, which is a straightforward and uncomplicated love story divided into three acts, but the beauty of this film is in the telling of it.
All the dialogue in this film is sung, which at first is a little unsettling, but it actually takes very little time to adjust to. The verse/chorus format of popular music and the musical genre is eschewed for an approach more resembling a modern opera, as the characters croon their lines to each other over a continuous score. This gives the most banal of lines a rhythm and cadence of their own. Because of this I found the French a lot easier to understand than with more naturalistic films, which was fairly handy for me as the print I was watching was with Dutch subtitles! I must confess, I did find that the music (written by Michel Legrand) began to grate towards the end of the 87 minute running time but even so there is still much to admire here. Visually it's stunning, with a bold and vibrant colour palette of almost hallucinogenic intensity and sumptuous costume and set design (that wallpaper!). The opening credit sequence sets the mood perfectly: a birds eye view of the inhabitants of Cherbourg in the rain beneath their umbrellas as they walk across the frame is reduced to a colourful abstraction. Catherine Deneuve is predictably gorgeous and the first act of the young couples courtship is one of the most beautifully pure pieces of cinema I can think of. It reminded me a bit of 'Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris', a film which I saw in television a long time ago and would do absolutely anything to get hold of a copy. 'Les Parapluies de Cherbourg' is a wonderful, sincere and uplifting film that everyone should go and see at least once, and preferably on a big screen. Once seen, never forgotten.
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