La Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels) (2001)

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Movie Info

Bay of the Angels (La Baie des anges) stars Jeanne Moreau as a middle-aged Parisian gambling addict who leaves her husband and children and heads for the roulette tables of Nice. There she meets young and handsome Claude Mann--a meeting which coincides with Moreau's first winning streak. She latches onto Mann in the belief that he's a good luck charm, and remains with him even when she starts losing heavily. Mann, emotionally drained, walks out of the relationship. The film ends with Mann entreating Moreau to return with him to the bourgeois existence that she'd escaped in the first scene. Bay of the Angels was directed by Jacques Demy, just before he achieved international fame with his musical films Young Girls of Rochefort and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for La Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels)

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (5)

This is a magical, whirling little film, a triumph of style, even though it runs down to nothing in the last, too quick, too ambiguous shot.

Jan 2, 2018 | Full Review…

Playing Jackie ... Moreau is one of the most watchable of screen goddesses.

Mar 29, 2002 | Full Review…

[Moreau's] Jackie Demaistre is a mesmerizing, compulsively watchable performance, one of the few films roles you literally hold your breath watching.

Mar 29, 2002 | Full Review…

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.

Nov 27, 2001

Alternately lighthearted and melancholy, it's a striking look at obsessional behavior.

Oct 30, 2001 | Full Review…

I think it's not just Demy's masterpiece, but one of the great French films of the sixties, which is pretty high praise.

Aug 3, 2014 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for La Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels)

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.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

Jeane Moreau is mesmerizing in this role.

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

Demy made a film about gambling, a subject that I'm really not that interested in, but I was hooked, as soon as Jeanne Moreau made her first appearance anyway! Great depth to the film. I love that it was filmed in black and white. Jeanne Moreau is more than perfect, if that''s possible. She was given a great role and she took it far and beyond what was written, though the writing is another of the film's strengths, there are some really great lines! Her co-star Claude Mann delivers in his role as Moreau's good luck charm, but pales in comparison. "The first time I entered a casino...I felt as if it was in church. I had the same emotion. I tell you gambling has become my religion. Money means nothing to me." Jackie Demaistre

Laura Cameron
Laura Cameron

Super Reviewer

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