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aka - Bay Of Angels
France 1963
Directed by
Jacques Demy
90 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Baie Des Anges, La

I have never been a fan of Jeanne Moreau, but her performance here in Demy’s second feature is one which certainly makes me reconsider my position. She plays Jacqueline 'Jackie' Demaistre, a roulette addict who haunts the casinos of the French Riviera where she meets a sensible young man (Claude Mann) yearning for excitement who is intrigued by the possibility of easy money yet aware of the dangers gambling presents.

As a study of addiction the film is first class with Demy going to a good deal of trouble to show us its perils and Moreau, starkly dressed largely in white with peroxided hair, marvellously convincing in her portrayal of the lost woman. It is also a very stylish film, classily photographed in high-toned black and white by Raoul Coutard and with music by Demy’s regular collaborator, Michel Legrand, one which moves with economy through its fairly limited narrative. Unfortunately the ending is perfunctory and virtually dismissive of all that has gone before it.




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