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Children of Paradise(Les Enfants du Paradis)

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France · 1945
3h 19m
Director Marcel Carné
Starring Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur, María Casares
Genre Drama, Romance

Filmed during the German occupation, this French masterpiece centers around the theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her: an actor, a criminal, a count, and a mime—all based on historical figures. Voted the “Best French Film in History” by the French Film Academy in 1990.

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Time Out by

Carné’s camera records rather than amplifies the emotions: you can’t help but wonder what magic a René Clair, a Max Ophüls or a Jean Renoir would have found in this material. Its clamorous closing shot – which suggests, but doesn’t show, tragedy – is one of the greatest in all cinema.


Washington Post by Desson Thomson

To TV-raised minds, Paradise spends more time than it needs to get where it's going. But in its own terms, the movie has flashes of oldtime magic. It's a precious piece of time past -- and time kept.


Slant Magazine by Ed Gonzalez

Carné’s France, unlike the fiddle-dee-dee of Victor Fleming’s cotton pickin’ South, is a poetic realist’s wonderland, a gateway to a dreamworld where human laws are mere judicial errors and love is so painful to hold onto it can only be savored in the moment.


Village Voice by Melissa Anderson

What's left to be said about Marcel Carné's towering intimate epic of early 19th-century love and the lives of performers, often heralded as the greatest French film of all time?


Miami Herald by Rene Rodriguez

Seydoux says that when the film was completed and released shortly after the end of the war, it became a symbol of freedom.

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