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
A Classic That Keeps Astounding, Ever More Absurdly, With Each Visit
Jacques Demy's THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT is such a special treat--so bright, light and airy, full of wonderful music and dance--that it's difficult to over-rate it or not recommend it. And yet.
Demy is a cinema artist who always verged in the precious (in my opinion he rarely toppled over), and this may cause trouble for some. His "Umbrellas of Cherbourg" has always seemed to me a heavy-handed, repetitive, sentimental downer; "Young Girls" is very nearly its polar opposite. (Demy's wife, the wonderful filmmaker Agnes Varda, has overseen the reconstruction of this classic, and we owe her quite a debt!) Michel Legrand's music here is full of jazzy, astonishing riffs and lots of melody. Accompanying it are some delightful lyrics that are translated fittingly--if not precisely--into equally delightful English. Catherine Deneuve and her late sister Francoise Dorleac are wonderful in the title roles, and they're helped immensely by the likes of Danielle Darrieux, George Chakiris, Grover Dale, Gene Kelly (yes, an American in Rochefort!), Michel Piccoli and a young and exquisitely beautiful Jacques Perrin. The dancing is a joy, as well, as you'd expect from a film that offers Chakiris, Dale and Kelly. Characters sing of their lives and lost loves, and everything--from the pastel-painted city to the gorgeously coordinated costumes--is as unbelievable yet as wonderful as an enchanted dream.
I remember enjoying the film when it first appeared. Now, it seems not only of its time but ahead of that time and so special and perfect that I suspect certain of us will want to revisit it every few years, for as many as we have left. In a word: transporting.
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