Sundays and Cybele (1962)

 Sundays and Cybele Movie Review………………………………………………………

Sundays and Cybele Movie Review

Sundays and Cybele is a 1962 French drama film directed by Serge Bourguignon and starring Hardy Kruger. It is a typically solid, yet far from great film.

It is about an emotionally disabled war veteran who befriends a young girl. The others are skeptic about his intentions and of course it all ends in a tragic way. This is the kind of story that is admittedly very icky on the premise alone. Yes, it never goes that route, but every film that is even a bit connected with this issue is bound to be an uncomfortable viewing experience and this movie is no exception.

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 Sundays and Cybele Movie Review………………………………………………………

The major problem lies in the relationship between the two. The story itself is great and very tragic and it could have been a vehicle for a great movie, but the film ended up being just solid owing to a very poor approach to it. What am I talking about? Well, I am talking about the characters themselves which are really not worth rooting for. That is a harsh thing to say, but the reality is that the protagonist is a typically war-affected individual who is never given a proper personality and the girl is actually even worse as she’s immensely annoying and never as likable as the script demanded.

I don’t know what exactly made me dislike their relationship so much other than the fact that it is inherently odd in concept. Maybe the reason why I disliked it again lies in Cybele herself. Her constant talk about marrying Pierre when she gets older is very weird and unlikable along with her overall annoying demeanor. Their relationship needed to be exceptionally strong in order for this movie to work, but it just was either too odd or just too annoying and cold.

Sundays and Cybele is, as is every French film of the period, superbly made and directed while also being solidly acted. The acting isn’t the greatest, but it’s solid nonetheless. The script is pretty good, albeit the execution is weak. The dialogue is sometimes excellent, but sometimes rather frustrating. As for the tone, it is mostly well handled and its dreamlike quality to it I really liked.

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Sundays and Cybele Movie Review ………………………………………………………

The cinematography is of course one of the major highlights in this picture. Everything looks gorgeous, but the standout scenes are of course in that park. Now, those sequences featured some of the most annoying lines and character traits, but visually speaking, it was marvelous to behold with some particularly inventive camera movements. For instance, the shot where we follow the two from the water reflection is absolutely astonishing. But other than its strong script and technical aspects, the film failed on a bigger emotional level and ended up being a lost potential. It gathered the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film and I don’t know whether or not it deserved it as I have yet to see the other nominees, but I am pretty sure it didn’t.

Sundays and Cybele is a very frustrating film. The script alone is very strong, the film is very well made and the technical aspects are terrific with the cinematography in particular being great with some of the shots being very inventive and astonishing to watch, but the film failed on an emotional level as the characters themselves are either flat or unlikable and the relationship between the two is very odd and not as heartwarming as it should have been in order for the whole film to work.

My Rating – 3.5

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Posted in 1960s, 1962, Drama, FILM DECADES, Foreign, French, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , .

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