The Children of Paradise

Director: Marcel Carné
Year Released: 1945
Rating: 1.0

Oh, heavens ... I simply could not wait until this thing was over (my chanting of "Fin, fin, fin, fin..." during the last fifteen minutes kept me awake). Look: I don't mind lengthy films when there's something compelling or stimulating going on (I sat through the full length, four-hour Ludwig and loved every minute of it) but Children of Paradise is little more than a melodramatic soap-opera (in the worst sense - Gone With the Wind, for all it's soapiness, is infused with a great story and inspired performances), with every man in Paris obsessed with this woman named Garance (who is supposed to be the most beautiful thing alive, but to me is fifty if she's a day) and all the characters discuss, to great lengths (I spent most of the time reading volumes of subtitles) how wonderful she is and how much she's appreciated (and how the men all try to backstab each other, to no end, to win her love) - but honestly, she comes off as a prissy snit who I wouldn't give the wrong time of day. It's not only stagy and bland, but it's not even remotely interesting - the plot seems too one-dimensional, as do the characters. It's a relentless, boring, dated gabfest, where little happens. Most critics and buffs swoon over it - this may be a case where I am silenced by the majority.