Monday, July 30, 2012

177. Les Enfants Du Paradis

Les Enfants Du Paradis
Children of Paradise
Directed by Marcel Carne

Yesterday was my birthday and when my sister asked what I wanted to do, I suggested popping in this obscure little film.  I was banking on it being a delightfully entertaining movie to enjoy on my special day.  I was pretty wrong about that one.

This movie centers on a fifty year old woman pretending she is twenty and an incredibly annoying mime.  They are in love, but alas!  She is cursed with great charm so that every man who sees her falls in love with her.  I am afraid I suffer from the same ordeal.  In any case, this is a love pentagon.  Did I mention the annoying mime?

I will start with what I liked.  First of all, the history of this movie is fascinating.  Several actors were Nazis, some crew members were Jews in hiding, and a few cast members worked for the French Resistance.  Talk about drama.  The acting is superb, even if the roles are a bit miscast.  However, the film is overly long despite what the book says.  Also, charming as Arnetty is, I found her character rather flat.  Veela simply don't exist in real life.

Film critics love it; personally I thought it was rather dull.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

France's answer to Gone With The Wind.  Was anyone waiting for an answer?

Italians left the project when Italy fell to the Nazis.

Most of the men in the film as based off of real people.


  1. You got this one spot on. Many reviewers rave over this movie, but the only thing amazing about it was that it was made at all. I would much rather watch a movie about this movie than watch it again. Hate mimes.

    1. It's so weird that you commented on this as this film was just mentioned in the book I'm reading, The Satanic Verses. Agreed, especially with the mime thing.

  2. I was thinking recently, that despite all the artistic and intellectual good intentions in the world, I do find the foreign-language films that bit harder to get into a lot of the time. But this, I thought, was great. Somewhat amazed to read the two of you dissing it. I thought it would be a popular one in the neck of the woods.

    Arletty was too old to be playing that role though, even though she was radiant.