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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
(1964)
3.63
1

Plot/Story

4.00

Characters

3.00

Acting

3.00

Cinematography

7.00

Production Design

7.00

Sound

1.00

Execution

2.00

Emotional Impact

2.00

Overview: This simple romantic tragedy begins in 1957. Guy Foucher, a 20-year-old French auto mechanic, has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery, an employee in her widowed mother's chic but financially embattled umbrella shop. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of combat in Algeria, he and Geneviève make love. She becomes pregnant and must choose between waiting for Guy's return or accepting an offer of marriage from a wealthy diamond merchant.

Director: Jacques Demy

Release Date: 1964-02-19

Genres: Drama Romance


3.63
4
3
3
7
1
7
2
2

Full Review Page

A beautiful color pallet and competent cinematography can only drag this movie so far. The story has potential, but it really drags for the first two-thirds and is often pretty boring. There really isn't a lot of plot for a 90 minute movie and what we do get is poorly paced and not particularly engaging. Everyone other than Guy and Geneviève's mom have questionable motivation and are wildly underdeveloped. Especially with Geneviève, it's very hard to tell what she's thinking or try and validate her decisions; she just flips around on a whim with no discernible reason. It's at least partly the acting, but I don't think the script is well written. The selling point of this movie is obviously the gimmick, but it's a huge detriment to the film. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is not a musical; there are no songs. Every single line is said in a singsong voice, but nothing amounts to an actual song. The lines have no rhythm, rhyme scheme, or cadence; it's the equivalent of taking regular dialog and poorly auto-tuning it. I'm kind of glad that it was in a language that I don't speak so that I had to focus on the subtitles and "read" the movie instead of suffering through the incredibly awkward singing. The cast are pretty good singers, but they aren't given anything to work with. They aren't good actors though. Geneviève's mother is the worst, as she doesn't seem to understand the emotion and connotation of her lines. She'll be talking about how deep in the shit they are about to be, but she's smiling and singing like this is "Walking on Sunshine" or something. The very nature of singing all of the dialog means that facial expressions are much more important and no one is really selling anything worth buying. I honestly don't know if Roland Cassard ever has any emotions at all; he has a dead expression the entire time. Guy and his aunt are okay, but everyone else leaves a lot to be desired. This film would be much better without the gimmick, but as it is, I can compliment how beautiful everything is and the occasional cool shot, but that's it. I'm not sure who this movie is made for: fans of musicals aren't going to have any new show tunes to add to their Spotify playlist, cinema fans are going to be disappointed with the acting, and the average movie goer is just going to be confused.

By : Greg Mueller | Date : 2 weeks ago