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.
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M. Carne has created a frequently captivating film which has moments of great beauty in it and some performances of exquisite note.
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.
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.
Carné's film has never looked more lush.
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?
Seydoux says that when the film was completed and released shortly after the end of the war, it became a symbol of freedom.
Few achievements in the world of cinema can equal it.