Critic Reviews



Based on 19 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
New York Post
A gleaming hunk of French period schmaltz expertly rendered by director Christophe Barratier.
Paris 36 has a beguilingly authentic sound and offers a blend of impassioned sentiment and harsh, even brutal grit
New York Daily News
Barratier directs with a jaunty artifice more typically seen on stage, but with the exception of Arnezeder, his cast turns theatricality to its advantage. They're offering us a sunny fantasy during a cloudy time, and seem well aware that we're unlikely to resist.
Hopelessly amateurish, the troupe is saved by a remarkably pretty young blonde called Douce with a sweet soprano to match her angel face. The gifted, unknown actress-singer who plays her, Nora Arnezeder, also saves the movie, which would otherwise blur into a mass of droopy, mustached, big-honkered Gallic character actors.
Schematically scripted tale revels in its multiple story arcs, but shows signs of battle fatigue in the later reels.
The overstuffed film lumbers across clichés of the heart and of history until it reaches a big, tune-filled climax that isn't worth the wait.
The movie is almost rescued by the wonderful 1930's style songs (written by Reinhardt Wanger and Frank Thomas) that populate its final act.
Village Voice
Like Amélie's scrubbed-up "City of Lights," Paris 36 is an antiseptic arthouse trifle, so eager to soothe that it only numbs.
So shameless in its pandering, sentimental vision of Frenchness as to constitute something of a national embarrassment.
It's like a pastry that's been sitting on the shelf for 60 years.

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