Monday, June 29, 2015

Blind Spot: Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962)

Overpraised, but worthwhile.

Directed by Agnès Varda
Produced by Georges de Beauregard and Carlo Ponti
Written by Agnès Varda
Starring Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller and Dominique Davray

Plot Summary: Cléo (Marchand), an unwell singer, wonders around Paris for a day, awaiting an appointment with her doctor.

Significance: Considered one of the best French films of all time, this film was featured in the latest Sight and Sound Poll (#202 in 2012 critics' poll and #546 in the directors' one). Also, the film was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and it won Best Film from the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics.

Thoughts: Varda's film is so small-scale that it's really a little gem, which has managed to grow in reputation over the years. It's a charming movie, but its elevated status makes for lofty expectations. While I was slightly disappointed, the film is worthy of some of the praise. Marchand is terrific as Cléo, delivering a sublime performance of real charm and emotion. Despite the melancholic aspects of film dealing with Cléo's illness, it still has a loose, breezy makeup, and the chapters of Cléo's day are a nice storytelling device. The film manages to be fun and dramatic, making the whole experience quite interesting. It might not be the very best from its stunning year, but the movie is definitely worth a look for movie fans.

Rating: A-

This is the sixth film in my 2015 Blind Spot Series, as first started by Ryan McNeil.


  1. The film felt a bit directionless to me, especially the first hour, but I guess it makes sense, since the main character is an aimless person.
    The scene when Cleo meets someone in the park (during the last 20 minutes) was my favorite part.

    1. Yeah, I think it wanders, but a lot of French films of that era do. I liked the last 20 minutes, too.

  2. What about it left you disappointed?

    1. I think more than anything it was overhyped. I just expected WAY too much of it.