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Umbrellas Of Cherbourg


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I don't watch foreign films very often, but this one sounded interesting, being a musicals fan, so I recorded it. I just watched it, and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was unique having all the dialogue sung and I enjoyed the jazzy score and the nice romantic story. One melody sounded awfully familiar, it plays at the very end and other parts; was there a hit song from this movie?

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Les Parapluies de Cherbourg has always been one of my most beloved favorites, which is perhaps not coincidental since I like Catherine Deneuve very much, love musicals, and generally tend to like French cinema.

 

It sounds to me that the melody you are referring to is simply the theme music of the movie, composed by Michel Legrand. It's been used very frequently in movie montages, such as the ones Chuck Workman sometimes has done for the Oscar ceremonies.

 

You can hear music samples from the soundtrack here:

http://www.amazon.com/Umbrellas-Cherbourg-Michel-Legrand/dp/B0000029ST

 

If you are interested in the films and biography of director Jacques Demy, a good movie worth watching is Jacquot (1991), directed by Demy's widow Agn?s Varda.

 

And another movie vaguely reminiscent of Cherbourg is Francois Ozon's 8 Femmes (2002), which also stars Deneuve, as well as Emmanuelle Beart, Virginie Ledoyen and Isabelle Huppert. It's not wall-to-wall music but there are several nice songs.

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I think the ending is somewhat open to interpretation. The characters could have been feeling "content" -- or just trying to conceal their real feelings. It's a beautiful ending because you can interpret it any way you want.

 

My interpretation is that deep down they still wish they'd stayed together and lived together the rest of their lives, but they realize that their lives have gone separate ways and they can only resign themselves to that fact.

 

But, of course, each person can come up with their own interpretation and it's all equally valid for each viewer.

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I actually saw this one in a Foreign Film Festival at my local art house... The singing was a bit hard to wrap my mind around, but it was a lovely little fantasy film once I did. Even the worst foreign film beats the pants off most American!

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Jacques Demy was a brilliant director and UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG is one of his finest films. For those hungering for more please check out his 1967 film THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT also starring Catherine Deneuve. It's one of the most glorious muscials ever filmed (Michel Legrand did he music for this one, too). Starring with Deneuve is Francoise Dorleac, Catherine's real life sister (who was tragically killed in a car crash days after finishing the film), George Chakiris (WEST SIDE STORY), the wonderful Danielle Darrieux (who starred in the great 1952 Max Ophuls French film THE EARRINGS OF MADAME D) and Gene Kelly!! Miramax re-released the film theatrically about 5 or 6 years ago and now there's a great-looking DVD which has come out. Please ignore many of the negative reviews which have appeared over the years; this film is utterly and absolutely fantastic and anyone who enjoys great musicals (and great French films) will probably not be disappointed!!

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Right, but I doubt I'll watch it (terrible for the big foreign film "pusher" on this board, LOL)... Not one of my favorites, and I have sooooooo many tapes to get through!!!

 

Another is Fellini's "Spirit of Julia" or whatever that one was called (apologies for being too bone-lazy to look up the actual title). Could live w/o seeing that again.

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  • 9 months later...

I watched this one on DVD just before Thanksgiving.

 

I really enjoyed it. I had avoided it because I thought that all the sung dialogue would get on my nerves, but (perhaps because it was in a foreign language) it didn't bother me at all. Even though the story is sad, the film leaves me cheerful. (Oddly, the French "Children of the Paradise" has much the same effect on me.)

 

No wonder Catherine Deneuve became a star. I also liked the actress who played her mother.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Adding to the myriad of pleasures Umbrellas offers is the wallpaper. Yes the wallpaper in the various interiors....

Notice how the costumes and wallpaper frequently blend in a delightful way. Pinks, purples, orange, etc., even harmonize with the characters' ethos. Also, I love the painted doors and woodwork.

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