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Faubourg 36 (Paris 36) (2009)



Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 82
Fresh: 51 | Rotten: 31

Sweet and light, this homage to French vaudeville -- and Francophilia in general -- is pretty, but its air of nostalgia occasionally borders on the saccharine.


Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 13

Sweet and light, this homage to French vaudeville -- and Francophilia in general -- is pretty, but its air of nostalgia occasionally borders on the saccharine.



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 3,711

My Rating

Movie Info

A star is born in a time of both celebration and instability in this historical drama with music from director Christophe Barratier. In the spring of 1936, Paris is in a state of uncertainty; while the rise of the Third Reich in Germany worries many, a leftist union-oriented candidate, Léon Blum, has been voted into power, and organized labor is feeling its new power by standing up to management. While such matters might normally seem unimportant to Germain Pigoil (Gérard Jugnot), who runs a

Aug 11, 2009


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All Critics (82) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (31) | DVD (3)

If you're a Francophile, it may be worth a look. But it's no Moulin Rouge.

April 30, 2009 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Essentially a pastiche, as musty as a flea market.

April 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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Paris 36 is a handsomely made French musical that never really soars.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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An utterly charming and sentimental French melodrama with music, a nostalgic look backstage and back in history.

April 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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Paris 36 is perhaps overlong for what it is, and it's certainly feather-light, but it gives its watcher an uncomplicated pleasure; like looking through a faded scrapbook, filled with memories once bright.

April 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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The nicest that can be said of this unapologetically schmaltzy, and not unenjoyable, affair is that it is the best 1936 musical made in 2009.

April 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Barratier (Les Choristes) seems to be making a bid to be France's new master of sweet nostalgia with a musical bent.

September 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago
Time Out Chicago

Destined to be one of the season's most energetic white elephants.

August 18, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

A tasty, tuneful Gallic confection.

December 31, 2010 Full Review Source:

A simplistic, uncomplicated multi-storied exploration of the French depression.

April 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

big, overwrought melodrama that celebrates the joy of big, overwrought melodramas

August 11, 2009 Full Review Source:

A frothy concoction that thrives on the improvisational creativity found on a stage.

June 15, 2009

It is a musical comedy/drama set in another time and place that asks you to give yourself over... If you're willing to play along the result is magnifique.

June 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Elegant, reality-tinged silliness.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

It's clearly old-fashioned entertainment, and while the blue-hairs will dig it, I suspect many of us with brown, blonde, black or red hair will embrace it as well.

May 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

A stereotypical 'little' French film that nevertheless comes wrapped in an awfully sweet package.

May 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Windy City Times
Windy City Times

Those who like their movies (a) cute and (b) in French will go oui, oui, oui all the way home after spending 120 minutes with this rose-tinted homage to the neighborhood music halls of France...

May 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

You'll leave the theater feeling really, really good.

May 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

This flaky French import can't stick to one story and can't find a way to resolve its myriad story lines in the proper fashion.

May 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Whimsical and toothless.

May 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly
Las Vegas Weekly

Paris 36 is ultimately about men and power.

May 7, 2009 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Oh my goodness, I didn't expect this: Paris 36 is The Muppet Show in, you know, Paris in 1936.

May 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Paris 36 is one of those exasperating movies which can't decide what it want to be and, as a result, ends up being not very much as all.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Playback:stl

It's a complete confection -- handsome, sentimental. In the end, it works as entertainment.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Paris 36 is ill-conceived, predictable, overlong, flatly directed, over-acted, uninvolving, corny, riddled with trite music and smugly self-regarding. Not an unqualified success, one might say.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

Some of the musical numbers are way too elaborate to have been presented in a suburban music hall, but if you want reality, this isn't the movie you're looking for.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Daily Telegraph (Australia)

Audience Reviews for Faubourg 36 (Paris 36)

Oniric fantasy set in 1936 Paris. Costume design, cinematography and music are top-notch. Borrows themes from "Cinema Paradiso" and "Moulin Rouge!" and is indelibly and undeniably influenced by THE French film of the last 20 years, "Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain".

FAUBOURG 36, or Paris 36 (as it's known outside of France), is evidently clichéd, but beautiful nonetheless. Gérard Jugnot, Clovis Cornillac, Kad Merad and Nora Arzeneder are outstanding in the four most prominent roles in the Christophe Barratier (Les Choristes)-directed film.

The rushed, and unnecessarily tragic ending is a dark spot on an otherwise bright film.
April 23, 2010
Simply delightful! The relationships are so multi-faceted and uplifting: Pigoil and JoJo (estranged father and son), Pigoil and Milou (resentful friends), Milou and Douce (distanced lovers), Galapiat and Douce (tyrannic benefactor and unwilling protege). Smaller parts like Radio Man and Jacky provide the glue that holds the Chansonia together.

Everyone has their falls from grace and their subsequent redemptions. The music is perky fun, and the frame story starts and stops at reasonable places. It's just a nice, happy movie :~)
February 8, 2010

Super Reviewer

This is honestly one of the most entertaining things I have seen recently. Granted, its predictable, and there is certainly a sense of "I've seen this before...". Still, its incredible fun and charastmatic. It has a historical setting and tone, but its not overtly historical. Its distintively French, but also reminisant of classic Hollywood. I'm kind of curious as too if the songs were created for the film, or if they are traditional French songs... If they are original, they are really pretty impressive. I also really liked how the whole thing revolved around the Chansonia- sort of like how the Moulin Rouge is the backdrop of Moulin Rouge! or Hogarts in Harry Potter. There is a certain audience that will absolutely love this movie, and just as many that will hate it. Its certainly not for everyone; but its visual and entertaining, and, personally, I liked it quite a lot. Its definately a movie I will watch again and again. =]
November 30, 2009
Jake ....

Super Reviewer

"Paris 36" starts as Germain Pigoil(Gerard Jugnot) tells a police detective(Marc Citti) why he murdered someone. Previously, Germain was the stage manager at the Chansonia, a music hall, until Galapiat(Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu), an evil capitalist, forces out Dorfeuil(Jean Lescot), the owner, in the waning moments of 1935 and closes the joint. In the first months of 1936, Germain's wife Viviane(Elisabeth Vitali) leaves him and his young son Jojo(Maxence Perrin) supports his drinking anonymously with his accordion playing. Things change radically when Leon Blum and his Popular Front get elected, as strikes are declared and the Chansonia is occupied, waking Germain from his drunken slumber.

"Paris 36" is a total victory for production design over content and depth, creating a beautiful looking world while forgetting to fill it with anything meaningful. In the process, it gives short shrift to politics at a point in history when anything was possible. As it is, the movie is simply about people wanting to put on a show, which has been done plenty of times before, with little magic to show for its efforts. It eventually does come together in the end but it is a long way to go for so little.
July 9, 2010
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Paris, Paris - Monsieur Pigoil auf dem Weg zum Glück (DE)
  • Paris 36 (Faubourg 36) (UK)
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