Movie of the Week: ‘Cleo from 5 to 7’

March 8 is International Women’s Day, so it’s the perfect time to feature director/trailblazer Agnes Varda and one of her classics.  “Cleo from 5 to 7” is AHFW’s Movie of the Week!

“Cleo from 5 to 7” (1962) – Florence (Corinne Marchand) – nicknamed Cleo – is a famous singer around town, and this town happens to be The City of Lights.


Cleo’s tall, striking, and generally attracts double-takes or long looks from men who pass by.  On first blush, she seems to have it all, but she’s awfully stressed about her health, and a Tarot card reader – in director Agnes Varda’s opening scene – confirms the worst.  Still, an official confirmation is needed from her doctor, which will hopefully occur later that day.

This is Varda’s second feature, and it nicely lands in the middle of the French New Wave movement, but her style is Left Bank, which is more artsy and free-spirited. There’s no mistaking her New Wave roots though, as her camera strolls alongside Cleo over the course of the day.  More specifically, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., as she meets her close friend, a pair of her musicians, and a sociable, kind stranger over “two movie-hours” during the film’s 90-minute runtime.

“Cleo from 5 to 7” is a breezy, casual slice of life in one of the world’s most famous cities, as Varda and Marchand offer a bold vision of one woman’s perspective, a less-than-perfect existence in a flawless locale, including Cleo’s amazing apartment!  Mon Dieu!

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of   ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Image credits:   ; Trailer credits: UniFrance

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