Love Songs (15)

Film

Musicals

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Mon Dec 10 2007

Paris, city of love – or so its reputation goes. That said, it’s hard to know precisely what is felt – or, indeed, how deeply – by Ismaël (Louis Garrel), Julie (Ludivine Sagnier) and Alice (Clotilde Hesme), bright young things caught up in what may seem from the outside to be a somewhat self-consciously Bohemian ménage-à-trois of drifting, shifting allegiances. Still, they’re apparently happy enough to break into song at the drop of a hat – until, that is, death strikes without warning and grief, guilt, recrimination, compassion and confusion take hold of the remaining pair, the departed’s family and various friends. And lovers, inevitably…

This writer is as fond of musicals – French ones included – as the next person, but from the opening credits, with Christopher Honoré trumpeting his own creative input and that of his collaborators by means of surnames alone (we’re apparently expected  to recognise them all), the writer-director’s fourth feature feels at best like misguided folly, at worst an act of arrogance. Things don’t improve when the first of the three parts (‘Le départ’, later followed by ‘L’absence’ and ‘Le retour’) is announced in words and typeface echoing ‘The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’, Honoré courting comparison as he pays hommage. If only this had even a third of the subtlety, charm, inventiveness, sincerity and depth of feeling as Demy’s classic.

But no: the songs are poor, the faddishness (folk parading books passim, à la Godard) and Garrel’s performance are irritating, and only Chiara Mastroianni as a grieving sister brings any real sense of conviction to her role. The allusions to Sarkozy do nothing for the film’s credibility either.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Dec 14, 2007

Duration:

96 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|10
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pet2000

Brilliant movie! Actors are well cast and performance is natural but if you don't like french movies, you won't like this one. I do not normally like musicals but this movie is more like a story with songs. For me it's the best film of the year so far.

pet2000

Brilliant movie! Actors are well cast and performance is natural but if you don't like french movies, you won't like this one. I do not normally like musicals but this movie is more like a story with songs. For me it's the best film of the year so far.

Olivia

This film is one of my favourites in the last year and all the more so because of the songs, which don't segment the storyline but add to it to make this film a funny, poignant and intriguing one. The actors are brillant in a film I have since thought about often.

Olivia

This film is one of my favourites in the last year and all the more so because of the songs, which don't segment the storyline but add to it to make this film a funny, poignant and intriguing one. The actors are brillant in a film I have since thought about often.

marc

My favourite film so far this year. The songs are beautiful and Garrel's performance did not irritate me at all...I couldn't disagree more with this review. Go and see it!!!

marc

My favourite film so far this year. The songs are beautiful and Garrel's performance did not irritate me at all...I couldn't disagree more with this review. Go and see it!!!

angelique

This is a typical French film - I did not and do not expect British audiences to understand it - that's how the British mind-set is geared. I agree 100% with sienna1.

angelique

This is a typical French film - I did not and do not expect British audiences to understand it - that's how the British mind-set is geared. I agree 100% with sienna1.