I never understood the cult of Barbra Streisand until seeing her play Fanny Brice in Funny Girl (USA, 1968, Columbia Pictures). Fanny is a rising star who thinks she’s made it because of her humor, not looks. When Fanny can’t bring herself to sing “His Love Makes Me Beautiful,” it’s so funny and vulnerable; it instantly turned me into a fan. Plus, those elaborate dance numbers make me sad I wasn’t alive during the Ziegfeld Follies era.
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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (France/Germany, 1964, Landau Releasing Organization) isn’t really a musical, but rather a movie where the dialogue is sung. It’s a tragically realistic love story between Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve), a girl who works in an umbrella shop, and Guy, a mechanic who goes off to war. Just before Guy leaves and Geneviève sings “Je t’aime” is where I lose it. I also love bright colors and bold patterns, which makes this, hands down, the most gorgeous film I’ve ever seen.
Available on Amazon Video and Hulu