Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bay of Angels (1963)

****½
France

Jacques Demy re-asserts Jeanne Moreau's effortless goddess-ness in this champagne bottle of a movie about high-risk gambling in the Riviera. With her hair dyed in an ungodly shade of platinum that would overwhelm any other actress, Moreau glides, twinkles and pouts her way through major wins and losses at the roulette tables, exuding her inimitable mix of sex and magic without the slightest hint of strain. It's easy enough to understand how a hitherto mild-mannered bank clerk would see fit to abandon a life of stability if only to share in a few nights of her spontaneous, faux-naive brand of fatalism - really anyone would. Whether they'd be operating on a hunch of uncanny wisdom or romantic idealism, Demy suggests, is not that easy to determine.

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