Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) (2004)



Critic Consensus: Jacques Demy elevates the basic drama of everyday life into a soaring opera full of bittersweet passion and playful charm, featuring a timeless performance from Catherine Deneuve.

Movie Info

Jacques Demy's 1964 masterpiece is a pop-art opera, or, to borrow the director's own description, a film in song. This simple romantic tragedy begins in 1957. Guy Foucher (Nino Castelnuovo), a 20-year-old French auto mechanic, has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery (a luminous Catherine Deneuve), an employee in her widowed mother's chic but financially embattled umbrella shop. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of combat in Algeria, he and Geneviève make love. … More

Rating: G
Genre: Drama , Romance , Musical & Performing Arts , Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: Jacques Demy
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 28, 1997
Zeitgeist Films


as Genevieve Emery

as Madame Emery

as Roland Cassard

as Madeleine

as Aunt Elise

as Bernard

as Girl in Cafe

as Gas Station Apprenti...

as Umbrella Shop Custom...

as Garage Customer

as Dubourg

as Girl in Sailors' Caf...

as Jenny/Genevieve

as Garage Mechanic

as Garage Mechanic

as Garage Customer

as Cafe Proprietor

as First Removal Man

as Madame Germaine

as Francoise Cassard

as Herve Legrand
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg)

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (15)

It continues to charm and delight for the same reasons it did back in 1964.

Full Review… | March 13, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

It is a small picture, a boutique musical. But it's lovely.

Full Review… | January 9, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

As spun-sugar holiday treats go, "Umbrellas" is hard to resist.

Full Review… | December 27, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Seemingly banal and sentimental on the surface, [director Jacques] Demy has avoided these aspects by tasteful handling and the right balance in emotion, compassion and narrative.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
Top Critic

Umbrellas makes escapist play with the stuff of kitchen-sink social realism.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Not only has he resurrected the quaint and artificial device of having the dialogue set to music and unrealistically sung, but he uses this operatic method to tell a story that is so banal... it wouldn't get beyond a reader in Hollywood.

Full Review… | January 15, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg)


A full-on musical. Singing from start to finish, all 90 minutes. All scored, no talking, total commitment. The production design is also awesome enough to give Wes Anderson a hard-on.

How successful is it? Very. It's not without it's flaws, but it's very watchable.

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

The colors, the picaresque locales, the entirely sung dialogue, and the angel that is Catherine Deneuve! "The Umbrellas of Cherbourgh" is 90 minutes of cinematic joy. Simple human melodrama made engaging, profound, and unforgettable in the hands of a master (Demy). If the ending doesn't make you weep then I guess you're just not human. A classic musical and easily one of the finest ever crafted.

Michael S

Super Reviewer


Although the highpoints of the film are those of the traditional musical, namely the stars communicating their joys and sorrows through song, what makes "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" so special is that all of the mundane connecting material is sung as well. We get people singing about going to the hairdressers or putting the kettle on, even swearing in song! Catherine Deneuve is absolutely adorable at the start, but our sympathies are gradually transferred from her knocked-up shop-girl, first to the adoring jeweller she marries out of convenience, finally to the first lover who reluctantly abandoned her to complete his national service. By the end of the movie, tragically, Deneuve has paid the price of ignoring her heart by transforming into one of her typically chic, glacial blonds. The vibrantly coloured art direction assaults the senses like a Dulux sheepdog's wet-dream, and complete delight is only precluded by some gratuitous product-placement for 'Esso'.

Stephen M

Super Reviewer

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