“He’ll be away for two years. I can’t live without him — I’ll die.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
… the music by Michel Legrand, the dubbed voices, and the young faces:
— that you’d expect to be sickened by the whole thing,” but it “is, surprisingly, quite pleasant to sit through.” He notes that the “picture was extremely popular because it manages to be cheerful due to its colorful look and music, yet cynical due to the sad events that occur and Demy’s lyrics” — and he adds that “young people in the sixties liked it because, despite its fairytale appearance, it dealt with what was important to them: premarital sex, love, pregnancy, dealing with parental figures, and war.”
While I appreciate everything about this film that makes it a distinctive and masterfully directed entry in mid-century French cinema, I’ll admit to not being a personal fan. It’s certainly beautiful, well-acted by young Deneuve, and charmingly scored — yet the far-too-bleak storyline makes it ultimately unpleasant “to sit through”. The realism of its narrative — including its heart-wrenching final scene — is what many seem to appreciate about it, but not me; and I ultimately find the incessantly sung dialogue to be tiresome and over-the-top. However, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is unique and visually distinctive enough to merit a one-time viewing by all film fanatics.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)