7.6/10
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Lola (1961)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 14 October 1962 (USA)
A bored young man meets with his former girlfriend, now a cabaret dancer and single mother, and soon finds himself falling back in love with her.

Director:

Jacques Demy

Writer:

Jacques Demy

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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anouk Aimée ... Lola / Cécile
Marc Michel ... Roland Cassard
Jacques Harden Jacques Harden ... Michel
Alan Scott Alan Scott ... Frankie
Elina Labourdette ... Madame Desnoyers
Margo Lion ... Jeanne, Michel's Mother
Annie Duperoux Annie Duperoux ... Cécile Desnoyers (as Annie Dupéroux)
Catherine Lutz ... Claire, the bar owner
Corinne Marchand ... Daisy
Yvette Anziani Yvette Anziani ... Madame Frédérique
Dorothée Blanck Dorothée Blanck ... Dolly (as Dorothée Blank)
Isabelle Lunghini Isabelle Lunghini ... Nelly
Annick Noël Annick Noël ... Ellen
Ginette Valton Ginette Valton ... Hair Stylist's Mistress
Anne Zamire Anne Zamire ... Maggie
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Storyline

Roland Cassard is a young man with no job and seemingly no prospects. By chance, he runs into his former girlfriend Cecile, who works as a dancer at a cabaret under the stage name Lola. She is now a single mom and works hard to provide her young son with all of the necessities of life. Lola still hopes that her son's father Michel, the true love of her life, will someday return to them. Seeing Lola again confirms to Roland that he's still in love with her, but she doesn't return his feelings. He has also met Madame Desnoyer and her 14-year-old daughter, also called Cecile. Madame Desnoyer, a widow, is quite taken with Roland but he has little interest in her. Roland sees no future if he stays in France. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

14 October 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Лола See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rome Paris Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jacques Demy's first film is a tribute to Max Ophüls. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Les plages d'Agnès (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto pour flûte en ré majeur
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
See more »

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User Reviews

Sonata of the conscious return
24 April 2015 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

Truly this is one of the Nouvelle Vague debuts to be cherished, not so much for new ground it breaks because the way had been paved for adventurous makers who wanted out from the constraints of stage a few years prior, but because it paces freely and briskly.

How to shape the comingling of life that plays a cosmic joke on us and our effort to pursue meaning must have been the question in Demy's mind, with whom I'm happy to be acquainted here for the first time, the door to his home opened by my recent discovery of his wife, Varda. Different characters stroll around Nantes in search of lost time and love that can be new again.

The man chances to meet one day in the street a flame of his childhood, the girl Lola in turn has taken in her bed an American sailor that reminds her of hers. This is memory, consciousness that looks back on itself and forward to itself (it's the same facet of ourselves that creates memory and anticipation). Demy creates it so that he can wonder about the possibility of an anchor, happiness, in a life that heaves this way and that with turbulent streams of consciousness that carry the past and flow out to future sea.

The man is free from constraints as the film begins, hopping around town, but the freedom only makes him languish. We need life that points to something outside of us yet the joke played on us by life is that we keep encountering ourselves ahead of ourselves, the life we've set in motion.

True to the returning nature of consciousness, characters relive feelings of old and contemplate love that can sustain a future life while the present is pulling them away in other directions, a smuggling trip to South Africa, a return voyage to America, a girl absconding to Cherbourg in search of life. In a masterful stroke we relive Lola's first love through a surrogate infatuated girl who walks around a funpark with the sailor lookalike, a scene that recalls the sage Epstein.

This is the lushest of different strolls and it is only the lack of poetics of transcendence that I miss here, Demy being content with transparent observation and dialogue. Resnais had triumphed in this two years prior in Hiroshima mon amour and through the years we arrive at the wholly fluid unmooring of space in Malick which harks all the way back to Epstein.

Demy made a second film that I've already set my eyes on, that picks up in Cherbourg after events of this continuing the return, the protagonist here returns as a character there, there's a flashback and a dinner scene that repeats. I pick up the thread there.

Here, none of it truly materializes love except perhaps the dreamlike return of the son in his rich convertible who drives around town for the duration, reluctant to return. But we have past and future materializing together in the walk that gives a clear-eyed perception of ourselves at the crossroads.


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