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 the street carnival scene, Genevieve runs across the road to the umbrella shop and gets confetti in her hair and on her clothes, and opens the shop door. When she enters, the confetti has disappeared. See more »
I heard so much about this film but missed seeing it in 1964 during its first release simply because it was never shown here. I finally got to see it 40 years after its debut and it remains as fresh and enchanting as I imagined it to be. The film is quite heartbreaking because Genevieve (Catherine Deneuve) did not persevere in her love for Guy. I can only imagine what pain Guy had to bear facing war in Algeria knowing his fiancée back home was pregnant with his child and he couldn't do anything about it. The blaze of colors in the movie was a contrast to the somber atmosphere of infidelity and lost love. I suppose they both had fairly good marriages but we can gleam that they did not reach the pinnacle of joy and had to settle for second best in the end. It sort of reminded me of Elia Kazan's "Splendor in the Grass"--Warren Beatty's character and Natalie Wood's character--they did not "live happily ever after"--they just settled for second best.
It is very clear that Genevieve continued to carry the memory of her lost love--otherwise she would not have made the detour to Cherbourg and meet Guy "accidentally"...It was such a heartbreaking scene--they meet each other after many many years and they have named their children with the same name--the name they planned to give their first-born as they made their future plans together before he leaves for his army stint. I wonder, would it still be as beautiful if it ended happily? In any case, it is one of the most unforgettable films I have ever seen. Try to get hold of the DVD copy for your collection. :-)
31 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?