Les Plages d'Agnès (The Beaches of Agnes) (2008)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: An enchanting self-portrait by a veteran director, Beach of Agnes is equal parts playful and profound.

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Movie Info

Agnès Varda has been one of the most distinct voices in French cinema since making her directorial debut with La Pointe Courte in 1954, and she offers a singular look back at her life and career in this autobiographical documentary. Most of Les Plages d'Agnès (aka The Beaches of Agnès) takes place on the seashores of France and Belgium, where she shares memories with her friends and family, looks at her photos and clips from her films, reenacts moments from her past with the help of her crew and a handful of nonprofessional actors, and examines both her successes and failures, often using visual metaphors to illustrate her attitudes about her past (mirrors to reflect what goes on around her, a small house literally built from a print of one of her movies). The Beaches of Agnès received its North American premiere when it was screened as an official entry at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Art House & International , Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Cinema Guild

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Cast

Agnès Varda
as Herself
Jim McBride
as Himself
Zalman King
as Himself
Mathieu Demy
as Himself
Rosalie Varda
as Herself
Andrée Vilar
as Himself
Stephane Vilar
as Himself
Didier Rouger
as Himself
Gerard Ayres
as Himself
Rosalie Varda
as Herself
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Les Plages d'Agnès (The Beaches of Agnes)

Critic Reviews for Les Plages d'Agnès (The Beaches of Agnes)

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (26)

Varda, free from fear and shame, turns her tale of a life lived in art into a work of art in its own right, and one of her best-a rapturous tribute to life itself.

Full Review… | April 24, 2016
New Yorker
Top Critic

As evidenced in The Beaches of Agnès, Varda is too venerable to be hip -- and too wholly alive to be venerated.

January 28, 2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

The Beaches of Agnes is a work of delightful contradictions from a filmmaker who has always played by her own rules.

Full Review… | December 18, 2009
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Filmmakers don't usually do documentaries about themselves, but Agnes Varda's The Beaches of Agnes is good enough to start a trend.

Full Review… | October 29, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A puckish, moving and wonderfully eccentric tour through her life.

Full Review… | October 4, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

Varda recalls her childhood, her adulthood, her politics, and how both her films and her two children were born. She doesn't just show us, she takes us inside of it all, inside of her. It's a reverie.

Full Review… | October 1, 2009
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Les Plages d'Agnès (The Beaches of Agnes)

a touching video scrapbook of varda's life and career, including friends and family and her late husband, director jacques demy, all in her typical free wheeling documentary style. a joy for fans of the left bank pioneers

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

French director Agnes Varda has an endearing, comfortable way of making a film seem like a spontaneous inspiration. It's as if she's shooting in real time and just following whatever tangent occurs to her in the moment. In the case of the autobiographical "The Beaches of Agnes," the story effortlessly skips between flashback recreations, scenes from her past work, present activities (her 80th birthday party is the climax) and surreal set pieces. But how much you enjoy the movie will depend a lot on how interested you already were in her life. She has known a slew of famous artists, and she obviously still grieves her late husband, director Jacques Demy ("The Umbrellas of Cherbourg," "Lola," "Donkey Skin"). She's a whimsical, funky lady with a youthful spirit. But her droll self-tribute is a bit indulgent, and not as academically informative as it could be. Still, you might pick up a few rental ideas. (Are "Les Creatures" and "Lions Love" really as lame as she says?)

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

Though probably not for everyone...I found this autobiographical documentary to be totally engaging and beautifully pieced together. Varda is a delightful mixture of eccentric teacher, quirky but loving grandmother and sublime artist with an eye for the abstract, but remarkably down to earth. All of these characteristics are reflected in this lovingly created homage to her friends, family, life and art. A most see for fans of the French New Wave, the art of Documentry film making or just charming creative people.

Robert C
Robert C

Super Reviewer

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