The eighties were a very hard time for Jacques Demy;the New Wave boom long over,his movies of that time seemed to indicate that he was a spent force.
Is "Trois Places Pour le 26" a worthwhile film?If you are a Montand fan,like my good friend Writer's Reign who wrote the first review ,then this movie was made for you.If you aren't ,or if sometimes he gets on your nerves ,then you'd better move on.
This film,although it's a far cry from Demy's great works, shows the director's touch.A permanent feature of his work is the girl with a mother left alone: this kind of character is present in "Lola" ("if you knew about geography ,you'd know that in Chicago there are no sailors but gangsters") "les Parapluies de Cherbourg" or "les Demoiselles de Rochefort" .Most of the time ,the daughter is illegitimate.Like "lola" and "Les Demoiselles ","trois places " has several subplots ,but it's less complicated.The way the two main stories hang together is not very new,but efficient.
Montand gets the lion's share :his life becomes a musical.It's pleasant to hear Piaf's "La Vie En Rose" or Monroe's "my heart belongs to daddy" ,but Michel Legrand's score is not particularly memorable,no tune really stands out and his best song by far in "trois places" is his old "Air des Adieux " from "Les parapluies de Cherbourg" .
Demy's career was erratic;his best works ("Lola" "Les Parapluies" "les Demoiselles " "Peau D'Ane" and his unfairly overlooked "pied piper") hold up very well today.But he also made poor movies ("l"Evenement le Plus Important ...." " Lady Oscar" "Model shop" ) ."Trois Places pour le 26" ,his last effort ,while it cannot be compared with the former works,is superior to the latter ones though.
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