A story of lost love, with all the dialogue sung rather than spoken. In the French seaside town of Cherbourg, Genevieve (Catherine Deneuve, in her first screen role) discovers that she is pregnant by her boyfriend, Guy (Nino Castelnuovo). When Guy is drafted into the army, Genevieve marries diamond merchant Roland Cassard (Marc Michel), even though she still loves Guy. She is destined for one last encounter with her true love, in a frosty Esso gas station.
Jacques Demy's haunting romantic musical is an enchanting, one-of-a-kind musical experience. It's basically a movie operetta, in which the characters sing all the dialogue (or, rather, lyrics--by director Demy) to Michel Legrand's lovely score. The story spans five years (1957-1962) in the life of Geneviéve (the ethereally beautiful Catherine Deneuve in the role that launched her to international stardom), the teenage daughter of a woman who owns a Cherbourg umbrella shop. After Geneviéve's boyfriend Guy (Nino Castelnuovo) is drafted and sent off to Algeria, she discovers she's pregnant and complications ensue. With its dazzling candy-coloured palette, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
looks sweet and dreamy. Restored and re-released in 1995 to rapturous acclaim and the renewed delight of all who got the chance to see it. The video release is taken from the restored version. --Jim Emerson, Amazon.com