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 »
Delphine and Solange are two sisters living in Rochefort. Delphine is a dancing teacher and Solange composes and teaches the piano. Maxence is a poet and a painter. He is doing his military service. Simon owns a music shop, he left Paris once month ago to come back where he fell in love 10 years ago. They are looking for love, looking for each other, without being aware that their ideal partner is very close... A film whose scenario is much less important than its feeling of euphory, according to the director Jacques Demy. Written by
It's probably pure chance that I saw this film for the first time - in the restored version by Agnes Varda - a few days after I was leafing through Demy's Collected Lyrics which have recently been published in France. It's clear from Frame #1 that this is a film to which you either have to surrender as the credits roll or squirm in embarrassment for the next two hours. Demy's 'fairy-tale' is as unashamedly full of coincidences as any Shakespeare comedy even to the extent of employing one set of twins, albeit non-identical but played by real-life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Francois Dorleac. If you're going to stop and wonder why the streets are always available for dancing in - i.e. traffic-free - or why Danielle Darrieux runs a cafe/bar which is little more than a counter, a glass roof and no substantial walls, then you're in the wrong movie. Demy loved chocolate-box movies and he complemented them with chocolate-box music from Michel Legrand - I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I already knew the main love them via its English lyric by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, You Must Believe In Spring, recorded definitively by Marlene VerPlanck - and the score, on the whole is lush without being memorable and ranging from fifties type small combo jazz to all-out string ensembles and if everyone - including Gene Kelly - except Danielle Darrieux is dubbed so what. Jacques Perrin is also on hand as a love-sick sailor, what else, and after seeing him play more or less the same role (narrator) in both Cinema Paradiso and Les Choristes the effect is like seeing a photograph of a friend acquired in middle age when he was a young man. Definitely worth a second viewing and who knows, I may even go so far as to buy the DVD.
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