Finding Love In The Bay Of Angels
Bay of Angels is a comedy drama about two gamblers who fall in love. It was written and directed by acclaimed French director, Jacques Demy. This was his second feature film and the first for the male lead, Claude Mann.
The real star of the film however is veteran actress Jeanne Moreau who steals every scene with her subtle yet striking performance. The film is French and was released in France in March 1964.
The film features noteworthy music by Michel Legrand that forms part of the cyclical theme of the movie.
The Story Of Doomed Love
The film is about a young bank teller named Jean. His friend Caron introduces him to roulette as a fun way to pass some time and he really enjoys it. Jean decides to go for a vacation in Nice after he makes big wins in roulette.
He arrives in Nice where he meets Jackie, a single mother with a child she rarely visits. They start falling in love, but Jackie tells jean in no uncertain terms that gambling will always be her first love. She lives the gamblers life style, rich one moment and in ruins the next.
She keeps a cool façade but soon the cracks appear and you realize that during the lows, she is just as crushed as she is raised up by the highs. The constant uncertainty in her life is slowly wearing her down.
Jean at first is upset that he has to share his love with her addiction to gambling, but he is soon also swept up in the lifestyle of dizzying highs and crushing lows.
The Soundtrack And Cinematography
Michel Legrand’s score ties them theme together further. The musical theme varies between the scenes of the lovers together, calm, peace full, melodic. This theme is used when we are with the lovers and they are learning to know each other or just sharing happy moments.
During the scenes in the gambling hall and dramatic situations the score speeds up, becomes frantic and claustrophobic , letting the viewer feel not only the hustle and bustle of the casinos and the fast paced gambling, but it also puts the viewer on edge as they know how much is riding on each spin of the wheel.
It seems to emulate the spinning and falling of the ball in the roulette wheel and keeps the viewer on their toes. There is constant contrast between the film scenes.
One moment you are being rushed between the closed interiors of hotels and bars and casinos. The next moment the film opens up to scenes of the director, Jacques Demy’s favorite coastal scenes of southern France.
The Unforgettable Jeanne Moreau
Jeanne Moreau is the cool calm, but also passionate Jackie. She made her hair blonde for the film and her dresses in the film where designed by Pierre Cardin, demonstrating the opulence of her highs.
It’s this image that seduces Jean, played by the newcomer Jean, emphasizing their relationship dynamics, a young innocent is further corrupted by someone older and debatable wiser.
Conchita Parodi does a great turn as the hotel manager, being one of the funniest actors in the film.
You can watch the trailer for The Bay of Angels below:
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