A little rain must fall: the tragic secret of a musical movie masterpiece

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, a life-enhancing 60s sensation, is about to enrapture a new generation of filmgoers Voguish director Damien Chazelles pick for the greatest movie ever made isnt his masterwork La La Land, or even Citizen Kane. Its The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Chazelle claims to have watched this New Wave classic more than 200 times, and regards his own not-quite-Oscar-winning 2016 musical as a Jacques Demys entirely sung-through phenomenon. It wasnt love at first sight. Initially, Demys film, with its strange operatic style, threw me for a loop, says Chazelle. On its debut in 1964, it provoked a similarly perplexed response. Yet it went on to win the Palme dOr and five Oscar nominations; it pulled in more than …