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Jacques Demy musicals 'Umbrellas of Cherbourg,' 'Rochefort' sing anew on Criterion

Film Critic

Best ’60s Jacques Demy musical: “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” or “The Young Girls of Rochefort”? That’s a question to drive any cinephile mad with indecision, but thanks to Criterion Collection, which has released new editions of these two Michel Legrand-scored, Catherine Deneuve-starring classics, one really doesn’t have to choose.

By director Damien Chazelle’s own admission, his Oscar-winning “La La Land” would have looked and sounded rather different without the influence of “Cherbourg,” with its intensely bittersweet romanticism, and “Rochefort,” with its jazzy score and playful Hollywood homage. To watch these movies again, or for the first time, is to surrender to a fantasia of lickable candy colors and exquisite melodies, where the whole world doesn’t burst into song so much as move to the same magically infectious beat.

Both now available on Blue-ray at

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