THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG (LES PARAPLUIES DE CHERBOURG) (1964) C widescreen 90m dir: Jacques Demy
w/Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon, Ellen Farner, Marc Michel, Mireille Perrey, Jean Champion, Harald Wolff, Dorothee Blank
From Variety's review of the film: "It takes nerve to make a pic in which all dialog is sung. Also, there is no dancing and this is not a filmed operetta or opera. "Director-writer Jacques Demy went to the port town of Cherbourg to make this simple tale of a boy and girl in love. ...
"Seemingly banal and sentimental on the surface, Demy has avoided these aspects by tasteful handling and the right balance of emotion, compassion and narrative. Pic becomes touching without being mawkish, simple sans being trite, and lovely to look at.
"Michel Legrand has supplied a richly tuneful score that serves as a sharp counterpart to help story points and enhance the moods. The bright sets and the excellent color work are also assets.
"Catherine Deneuve, a winsome-looking type that other directors have forced to act, here is allowed to be herself. She etches a fine portrait of a 16-year-old in love. Nino Castelnuovo has presence and poise as the boy. The dubbed voices, done in playback and recorded before shooting started, are all fitting for the various characters.
"The title stems from an umbrella store owned by the girl's mother."
From The Movie Guide : "Although inspired by the Hollywood musical, Jacques Demy's vibrant, inventive film foregoes the familiar backdrop of a Broadway show or movie premiere to revel instead in the myth and magic of everyday romance, in all its sentimental and banal glory. Not quite a musical or an operetta, THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG is, as Demy has described it, 'a film in color and song.' What separates it from the Hollywood musical is Demy and composer Michel Legrand's decision to deliver all the dialogue --- every last meaningless word --- in song form. Divided into three acts --- Departure, Absence, Return --- and set in Cherbourg on the coast of Normandy, the film begins with the blossoming romance of two young lovers: Genevieve (the beautiful 19-year-old Catherine Deneuve), who works in her mother's umbrella store, and Guy (Nino Castelnuovo), a service station attendant. They fall in love, have an evening of romantic bliss, and are then separated when Guy receives his draft notice. ... A feast of movement, color, and song, THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG transforms the quotidian into a celebration. By inflating the life of a common shop girl into a musical spectacle, Demy succeeds in turning a tedious existence into a fantasy, yet he and cinematographer Jean Rabier and art director Bernard Evein do so without creating a false world. Instead they discover the 'poetic realism' in Genevieve's world of umbrellas, hats, chairs, and shop windows."
The film was nominated for five Oscars: Best Foreign Language Film, Original Screenplay (Demy), Original Score (Legrand, Demy), Scoring of Music(Legrand), and Song ("I Will Wait for You").