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When I first saw this film I had a sense of disappointment. I had read on French sites about it. I knew this was going to be very much a Paris film, and that it had both Schumann and Ravel on the soundtrack. What was there not to like ? And as I watched it I saw that this was a Paris I did not know, and that the music like the film was very quiet. I also thought that there were too many characters, and I did not like the young actor who played the male lead much. Without giving away the story, or rather stories, I felt let down by the experience.
I was very, very wrong. ' L' amour debout ' has so many resonances in French and frankly the English title of ' Love Blooms ' is terrible. My interpretation of the French meaning is stand up with and even more stand up for love, heterosexual or homosexual, and the characters in their different ways do precisely that. A straight guy realises and fulfils his homosexuality, and a straight woman stands up for her love for an older man. This I do not consider spoilers as there is so much else to the film as well. A great French film from the 70's is not only referenced, but one of the lead actresses is in the film giving a moving performance that almost overshadows the rest in its quiet strength and power. This all hit me after long reflection on what I had seen, and when I awoke after sleep in tears I understood that the film's power had hit me hard. I realised that love could be lost forever for so many, and that cliché though it may be we have one life and that our true feelings are paramount and should not be denied. This film along with 'Theo and Hugo ' and ' Sauvage ' show us realms of loving not often seen in film, and even the films of the 60's New Wave avoided. A great achievement adding to the continuing strength of a truly adult French cinema.
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