One of my favorite writers wrote the first comment ,and I second his view on one point:Danielle Darrieux,even at 57 ,is a feast for the eye ;a multi-talented actress,singer ,her career spanned the whole last century and the Naughties (last movie in 2010:"Pièce Montée" );"Divine " is a must for Darrieux 's fans.
But for them only.
Delouche resumes his favorite subject : the aging woman who feels life passing her by and who wants to make the best of her mature years: in "24 Heures De La Vie D'Une Femme" ,Darrieux met a deserter and spent some time with before discovering he did not care at all for her;in "L'Homme De Désir" ,Emmanuelle Riva ,whose marriage was sexless and routine ,fell for a young wild boy (so did her husband,for there were homosexual undertones ).
Jacques Demy's influence ,which was latent in the first effort ,is so glaring here that since the first sequence,with a bill-posters ballet ,complete with songs and even sung lines a la "Les Parapluies De Cherbourg" ,we know we are in for a musical :75% of the movies is sung .Sadly Jean Claudric (aka Sam Clayton,who arranged songs for Sheila,Mireille Mathieu and others)does not rise to the occasion : he has not Michel Legrand's flair for the catchy tune or the tuneful melody.Danielle Darrieux was occasionally a good singer when she is given good material to work with (one remembers her very moving rendition of Aragon/Brassens "Il N'Y A Pas D'Amour Heureux" in "8 Femmes") ;here the music sounds like seventies French MOR ,and the all-cast finale in front of the Sacré Coeur is as artistic as Michel Fugain 's "Big Bazar".
Now for the plot which my good friend Leon (Writer's Reign) passed over in silence: a young man is in awed of an aging thespian Marion Renoir(Darrieux)aka "Divine" ,and his fiancée gets jealous ;both meet the star and the young guy even becomes her partner in "La Dame Aux Camelias" ;the screenplay is a jumble ,in which even an earnest thespian such as Jean Le Poulain is forced to overplay (we feel sorry for him) ;there's even Georgette Plana ,a Chanteuse from the forties,who scored a hit again circa 1968 with the perennial " Riquita" .
The first time ,when she appears on stage ,Darrieux plays the last scene of Victor Hugo's "Ruy Blas":it is a nod to Pierre Billon's 1947 adaptation in which she played the Queen of Spain.
All in all ,except for the very last sequence when Darrieux walks away in the falling snow ,it is a boring movie .She was such an icon that she survived this fiasco and continued her career brilliantly.
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