Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (50th Anniversary Edition) (UK - BD RB)
Marcus shelters from a downpour with a technical review of a French classic...
Jacques Demy’s ‘a film in song' The Umbrellas of Cherbourg pays homage to the classic Hollywood musicals and celebrates its 50th Anniversary on Blu-ray.
Guy Foucher (Nino Castelnuovo), a 20-year-old French auto mechanic, has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery (Catherine Deneuve), an employee of the local umbrella shop. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of combat in Algeria, the pair share a passionate night. Geneviève becomes pregnant and then must choose between waiting for Guy's return or accepting an attractive offer of marriage from a wealthy diamond merchant .
Arriving off of a restored 2K scan The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is distinctly of its era and this 60s film is bright, textured and full of colour. Primaries literally pop off of the screen, especially the yellows and pink and red elements literally explode off of the screen with their solid looks and well placed uses.
The image is a little soft around the edges but detail is fantastic. The depth of the image is noticeable and shows off the film’s locations with the warm and bright image. Textures in clothes and sets look great and the low level of grain gives everything a really nice classic feel.
As the film gets bleaker the bright colours drop out but blues and greys still bring the goodness giving everything a slicker feel, colder feel. Black levels remain consistent throughout and the general look of the film retains its sixties glory until the colours sneak back into frames and once again dazzle.
This is a great restoration and indeed HD presentation. There’s barely any damage to the print, well nothing you’ll spot unless you really go looking and the result both enhances the experience of the film and celebrates its original looks .
The film is all sung. Like all of it. In French. Its quite delightful, though I guess a slog depending on your enjoyment of musicals. There’s a LPCM 2.0 track and a full on DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix and both are strong.
The 5.1 track feels quite confined when compared to modern musicalson the Blu-ray format but each speaker is used pretty well and the highs and lows of the quieter and louder musical moments are delivered with the same precision. The big numbers swell though the speakers but in the opening garage scenes I felt as if the music seems to drop when the actors sang. Almost as if the channels couldn’t quite deal with both elements. This wasn’t an ongoing issue thankfully because the rest of the audio presentation was top notch and very impressive for a fifty year old film.
Now here’s where the disc really celebrates the film’s birthday. ‘The World of Jacques Demy’ (87 mins SD) is an extremely laid back but in depth look at the directors work, with so many stories and comments on his work that fans should be in Demy heaven.
‘Once Upon a Time... The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ (51:52 HD) is a making of, of sorts with lots of stock footage of Demy talking about the film followed with plenty of behind the scenes stories and interviews either with the cast now or via more stock footage.
‘Geoff Andrew On The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ (11:50 SD) is a solid overview of the French director as well as the film itself and abreif mention of the film’s restoration.
‘Virginie Ledoyen on the Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ (03:11 HD) has the French actress talk up the joys of the film as well as the director. ‘The Restoration’ (06:12 HD) is a mini featurette about the three colour restoration in the nineties and the efforts that went into it and lastly the ‘Interview with Catherine Deneuve’ (66 Mins). Is long but sadly only audio, so quite hard to sit through as you star are the static image.
Last up is the ‘Stills Gallery’ and a couple of trailers.
Umbrellas of Cherbourg is delightful, sweet and comes with a fair share of sadness. This Blu-ray restoration is a fitting celebration of the film's big 50th, with video and audio giving the film a whole no breath of HD life for a new audience to enjoy as well as giving the goods to its fanbase. The extras really push the boat out and make this an anniversary celebration worth having.
Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 10th February 2014
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 French, LPCM 2.0 French
Extras: Geoff Andrew on Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Virginie Ledoyen on Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Once Upon A Time... The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The World of Jacques Demy, The Restoration of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Stills gallery, Trailer, Trailer (2013)
Easter Egg: No
Director: Jacques Demy
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon, Marc Michel, Ellen Farner
Genre: Drama, Musical and Romance
Length: 91 minutes