Bay of Angels

1963 [FRENCH]

Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 7.3 10 3389

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July 28, 2021 at 09:08 PM



Jeanne Moreau as Jacqueline 'Jackie' Demaistre
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
775.91 MB
fre 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 24 min
P/S 0 / 3
1.41 GB
fre 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 24 min
P/S 3 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DAHLRUSSELL 8 / 10

Well crafted, slow character study, microscopic quality.

This film enters with a spectacular high speed tracking shot matched by the hyper circular theme song by Michelle Legrand that sounds both like spinning and falling, and which does indeed represent both the spinning of the roulette wheel and falling in love.

Here we have the side of Jeanne Moreau I don't care for, posey, game playing and artificial... the kind of woman men like and women hate... and that made her perfect in this role. (And her performance her is Infinitely BETTER than in EVA, same type role.) What I like a lot about her casting here is that she looks quite a bit like Marilyn Monroe, but is as different internally as anyone can possibly be - which a lot of the world was doing at this time, being bad Marilyn Monroe wannabees. I love that the platinum hair makes her look much more harsh, older, and very false, and that is, of course, the essence of the character. And this film is mainly a character study, with little story and little explanation.

Our leading man is the young naive everyman sucked into her world in all respects. We feel for his every bad decision, and this is a true and real representation of both the allure and the tawdriness of the gambling world.

Without giving anything away, the ending feels contrived, but in this time period, films wanted "endings"... today a truer ending would just go on spinning like the roulette wheel. Michel Legrand's score is great. Like many of Demy's films, this is a dark story of the current day told with musicality and attention to the games we play with ourselves.

Reviewed by lqualls-dchin 10 / 10

Jeanne Moreau at her best

Jacques Demy's second feature is an amazingly fluid, vibrant comedy about love and luck, starring Jeanne Moreau at her (dazzling) best. And she is literally dazzling, in resplendent costumes (mostly by Pierre Cardin) and radiantly blonde. The music by Michel Legrand is one of his best scores ever, as it sweeps through the film, carrying everything along with two basic themes, one furiously accelerated piano theme, the other a softer, more lilting theme played in different variations, but mostly on the mandolin. It's a movie that sweeps you along, just as fast and unpredictable as a spin on the roulette wheel. This is a film in which "black-and-white" becomes a dazzling metaphor, so that the sun-drenched exteriors of the south of France are contrasted with the various interiors of hotel rooms and casinos. LA BAIE DES ANGES may seem slight, but only "seems": it's one of the most passionate statements on love and faith in the modern cinema, and it's a work of true enchantment.

Reviewed by Quinoa1984 7 / 10

some interesting direction, and Jeanne Moreau, but nothing very special

First a note of interest: Jeanne Moreau is in the movie, and she's the star, of course, but she's also a blonde here. Usually, from what I can remember from say The Lovers or La Notte or Jules & Jim it's dark or at least brunette. I wonder if she was already blonde at the time or if it was a deliberate and specific choice on director Jacques Demy's end. Because, somehow, it does add something extra to the character. When we first see her on screen she's being 'escorted' (kind word for kicked out) of a casino that Jean and Caron are at to start gambling, and it's a big scene where we see her arguing and stomping her feet and we barely see her face, just a fury of big blonde hair and attitude to match. It's not exactly the same cool presence one saw in some of Moreau's other big films of the period - and yet when we see her again she is lovely and with that face that charms immediately upon the smile, and makes one feel the gloom of after hours when looking serious.

Bay of Angels is a movie that works best when Demy focuses his theme on escapism, what would appear to be at first a film for escapists, about people going off to rich places like Monte Carlo and gambling away the life savings and having a great time in expensive suits and drinking champagne. But it's also about the nature of this escapism, the danger of it. It's predictable to see that Jean, who comes from a family where gambling is incredibly frowned upon, and Jackie, who at one point confesses that going into a casino is like going into Church, will lose a lot of money, maybe all of it, and keep going in dire straits throughout. What isn't expected is how Demy interweaves this seemingly endless back and forth of the bottomless pit that is a gambler's life (if only seeming like a lifetime in however few days Jean/Jackie are together) and how touching it becomes against the backdrop of glamour. At the least, his film is about something.

The only problems come with a few scenes in the script that drag - the dialog often works, but sometimes not quite enough to satisfy the emotional purpose of a scene. Maybe also contributing to this is first time actor Claude Mann as Jean. Mann would later be featured in Melville's Army of Shadows, among other notable films, but here he just can't hold his own most of the time alongside such a presence like Moreau. It was wise to cast someone young, and maybe not with the most experience, as this kid who goes on vacation from a small bank-clerk job to try and find himself by way of throwing away hundreds of thousands (albeit I pictured more-so, as the film went on, the actor who played the lead in Pickpocket). But Mann just doesn't really fit in, especially when he has to go into big dramatic scenes (i.e. the outbursts of anger against Jackie in the hotel rooms).

And yet Bay of Angels displays a director with an intuition with the camera, a grace and style, and a dazzling sense of music, precisely repetitive, over the shots of the roulette table spinning around and the faces dissolving in and out with it. There are beautiful moments, and it's hard not to take eyes ever off of Moreau, one of those actresses who keeps working today into her late 70s going on 80s but whom one thinks of in black and white only. She had/has one of the great faces in movies, and she's a damn good actress to boot. 7.5/10

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