Lola

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 16

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,206
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Movie Info

Jacques Demy's auspicious debut -- "a musical without music" set in the port city of Nantes -- stars Anouk Aimée as the title character, a cabaret singer awaiting the return of Michel (Jacques Hardin), her long-absent lover and the father of her child. Michel went to America seven years ago and promised to return when he became rich. In Michel's absence, Lola is being courted by her childhood friend Roland (Marc Michel) and American sailor Frankie (Allan Scott). At some point, it seems that Lola will settle down with one of them, but her heart still belongs to Michel. The film is dedicated to Max Ophüls and the film title obviously alludes to Ophüls' Lola Montes as well as to the heroine of Josef Von Sternberg's The Blue Angel. Marc Michel makes a reference to his unrequited love towards Lola when he reappears in Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964). ~ Yuri German, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Lola

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (7)

Audience Reviews for Lola

  • Oct 03, 2015
    Lola has the characteristics of French New Wave films that I enjoy -- charm, grace, pensiveness, humor. It does not have them in spades like some of the classics of that era but, nonetheless, the film is a quite satisfying view. The intersecting lives motif works here (and does not feel forced). Anouk Aimee is good actress to watch. Chances are that if Lola comes up on your radar, you will find it to be a film worth seeing.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 11, 2014
    The title... well... the film itself, is an allusion to a number of things. First, it is a "musical without music", description provided by Demy himself, maybe because despite the lack of music, it follows the basic charming conventionalisms of the genre from an aesthetic and structural point of view. More appropriately, it is a musical with music, but with the singing not performing the usual fantasy-like role that it performs in common musicals, where characters suddenly sing and dance out of the blue explaining or complementing a situation. Secondly, the protagonist, passionately played by Anouk Aimée (<i>La Dolce Vita</i> [1960]; <i>8 1/2</i> [1963]), nods to Max Opüls' <i>Lola Montès</i> (1955). Thirdly, Lola also references the iconic character from one of the best films ever made: <i>Der Blaue Engel</i> (1930), by Josef von Sternberg, immortalized by the great Marlene Dietrich. Torn between her first love (Michel) that left her seven years ago promising to come back until he became rich, the American sailor Frankie that reminds her of Michel, and her childhood pre-war friend Roland, Cecile dances a notable adult-oriented number at a cabaret under her stage name "Lola", trying to put her feelings and priorities in order while awaiting for her first love. Confusion and drama ensue, but always filmed spectacularly by Demy's constantly moving camera and smart editing, accompanied by clever gags and Beethoven's 7th Symphony, which seems to have the power to elevate any film to levels never originally ambitioned. All in all, it is an impressive drama given that it is a debut, probably incorrectly advertised as an American musical (considering the trailers and the posters), because it is a story that, although typical seen with today's eyes, brings solid performances, intense moments, funny situations and an ending which controversy precedes Varda's <i>Le Bonheur</i> (1966). Lola's concept would belong now to Fassbinder 20 years later. 82/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 25, 2010
    Not the femme-fatale tale which I expected, "Lola" is a slice of life about a well-meaning cabaret dancer (Anouk Aimee) torn between three men: a visiting American sailor, an old childhood friend and a long-departed husband (whose young son she is raising alone). Meanwhile, a pretty 14-year-old girl studies English and rebels against her mother by befriending the sailor, while the above childhood friend contemplates taking a shady trafficking job. The various characters' lives overlap in clever ways, and the storytelling maintains that light, open-ended tone so commonly found in '60s French cinema. Meanwhile, Michel Legrand's frisky score smooths over the rough spots. I did find myself wishing the film was in color -- I rarely have this complaint, but the glamorous women and romantic sights seemed somewhat hobbled by the black-and-white cinematography.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 20, 2008
    beautifully shot. the plot had so much potential for intertwining of stories (such as parralels for the ceciles, the blond sailors, etc), but these didn't connect, at least for me. i adore anouk aimee, but i found this character cliched; i much prefer her in 'la dolce vita.'
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer

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