La Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels) (2001)
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Critic Reviews for La Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels)
Playing Jackie ... Moreau is one of the most watchable of screen goddesses.
[Moreau's] Jackie Demaistre is a mesmerizing, compulsively watchable performance, one of the few films roles you literally hold your breath watching.
An early chapter of Demy's courtship with the provincial France of his youth, with the most bewitching generation of French actresses, and with movies.
Alternately lighthearted and melancholy, it's a striking look at obsessional behavior.
Audience Reviews for La Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels)
Jeane Moreau is mesmerizing in this role.
This early Jacques Demy film is beautifully shot and acted with exotic locations, elegant cars and a stirring Michel Legrand score. Unfortunately, the plot soon melts down into just a standard, cautionary tale about gambling. The arc is always the same. There's the initial, euphoric burst of beginner's luck. Then the subsequent frustration and squandering of funds, and an eventual descent into desperate times. Sound familiar? Jean (Claude Mann) is a novice gambler who gets hooked on casinos and meets a nihilistic divorcee (Jeanne Moreau, with platinum blonde hair) on the way. The pair become addicted to roulette, the most frivolous of games, and make lavish bets based on silly whims with scarcely a trace of strategy. Their behavior breeds exasperation rather than sympathy. Even the flashes of success they have don't seem plausible. Try "California Split" instead.
I think I have tapped most of the films from the French New Wave so far but this one remained outstanding for a bit. It was worth the wait. If the Long Weekend was the ultimate saga of an alcohol, here we have a tribute to gambling and how some can get sucked into literally gambling away a comfortable existence.
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