The Umbrellas of Cherbourg ★★★★½

As someone who’s not a huge fan of the theatrics of musicals, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was quite the daunting task initially. Once I realized about ten minutes in that the characters were never going to stop talk-singing, I got real scared. Thank god Jacques Demy is an actual wizard and somehow made this eye popping soaring extraditionaire grounded in such heartache and raw emotion.

Sometimes love isn’t enough. Circumstances outside our control force our hand, and we must move on or let go in order to truly thrive and grow as individuals. It hurts, but it’s necessary. I was only passively enjoying the film (I was smiling at times without even realizing it), but it wasn’t until Cassard recounted his failed relationship with a girl he met named Lola that a switch flipped in my brain and i was instantly moved. He knows these opportunities don’t come and stay for long, and that he needed to act in that very moment or Genevieve would be gone forever. It only lasts one minute and I felt years of regret and heartbreak in that one moment.

I won’t spoil the end completely, but even with it being so telegraphed and apparent I was in tears. La La Land obviously ran with the formula Demy set up here, but The Umbrellas of Cherbourg felt so much more natural and in the moment that I didn’t even realize the years going by in the film’s world. I’m a musical agnostic and I’m gonna be humming the main theme for days to come.

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