Paris 36

Maxence Perrin in "Paris 36," a tale of music-hall entertainers in pre-World War II Paris as the specter of fascism arises.
Maxence Perrin in "Paris 36," a tale of music-hall entertainers in pre-World War II Paris as the specter of fascism arises.
Posted: April 17, 2009

A backstage musical set in a Paris neighborhood before the onset of World War II, Paris 36 (as in 1936) is a tale, gauzy and rose-tinted, about music-hall entertainers who, theatrically speaking, are three musketeers.

As the specter of fascism rises on the horizon, it's still all-for-one and one-for-all at the Chansonia, a venue in a storybook Montmartre (actually filmed in Prague) where an accidental impresario named Pigoil (Gerard Jugnot) first loses his wife, then his son, and then his theater before two are restored to him.

Written and directed by Christophe Barratier, the film applauds its socialist heroes, hisses its fascist villain, and delights in the robust beauty of a singer named Douce (Nora Arnezeder).

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.

- Carrie Rickey

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|