Umbrellas Of Cherbourg

Umbrellas Of Cherbourg

In recent years, a conspiracy of goodwill has led to a revival of the films of Catherine Deneuve, an actress so graceful and stylish, she may be the French Audrey Hepburn. The warm reception to Buñuel's excellent Belle de Jour last year should have surprised no one: Its studied cynicism fit perfectly into the world of '90s cinema. Restored to its brightly colorful glory after 22 years, this beautiful, heartbreakingly bittersweet piece—performed entirely in song—seems somewhat out of place. The story of two young lovers separated by circumstances they can't control, Umbrellas is one of those movies in which the material and the execution appear to merge seamlessly to make both a one-of-a-kind film and the sort of stylistic dead-end that demands immediate enclosure in a time capsule. The camera swoops, the music soars, everyone looks stunning, and nobody's outfit ever clashes with the wallpaper. The plot also refuses to fall into predictable patterns of tragedy and melodrama, giving us a final act as memorable as all these elements combined. It should be seen on the big screen, where it can best be appreciated.

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