Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Original title: Les Enfants Du Paradis
France, 1945. Société Nouvelle Pathé Cinéma.Scenario and dialogue by Jacques Prevert. Cinematography by Roger Hubert. Produced by Adrien Remauge. Music by Maurice Thiriet. Production Design by Leon Barsacq, Raymond Gabutti, Alexandre Trauner. Costume Design by Mayo. Film Editing by Henri Rust.
To say that this film is pure cinematic poetry is just not a good enough way to describe it. That said, any description using mere words is not appropriate enough to encompass the great artistic breadth that this beautiful French classic spans. Directed by Marcel Carne, it is an epic of European cinema that is still today, deservedly, a landmark classic. Told in two parts (that were originally exhibited in theatres separately due to Nazi time limitations on French public gatherings), the film tells the tale of a wise and bountifully loving courtesan (Arletty, giving a grand performance with high-caliber intelligence) and the four men who love her. We watch as fate guides these many characters back and forth between their love affair with both her and with their own lives. Full of poignant exchanges that seem to catch on film those wonderful moments in life when the stars seem to be shining just a little bit brighter and the world is caressed by a sweet, intoxicated breeze.
The Criterion Collection: #141
Academy Award Nomination: Best Original Screenplay