I've known about The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg for many years, but I tend to avoid foreign-language musicals because I have trouble appreciating lyrics that are not in English. For me, having to read subtitles of lyrics pretty much kills the pleasure of hearing the lyrics.
But my recent obsession with director Christophe Honoré and composer Alex Beaupain's Love Songs (Les Chansons d'amour) prompted me to give Jacques Demy's 1964 Cherbourg (music by Michel Legrand) a shot since it was a point of inspiration.
Goddamn, this movie is beautiful. The gorgeous, exaggerated colors explode off the screen and pretty much try to make love to your eyes. That sounds corny, I know, but, if you've seen the film, you know what I'm talking about.
The movie is sung all the way through and stars the lovely Catherine Deneuve and the super-hot Nino Castelnuovo (their voices are dubbed by professional singers). It's a romantic, joyous, and heartbreaking window into the impetuousness of young love, and it's a celebration of Hollywood musicals that I suspect only the French could pull off.
The following trailer doesn't quite capture the beauty of the film's recent restoration, but you get the idea. Watch: