It’s 5 o’clock in the afternoon in Paris in 1962 and Cléo (Corinne Marchand),a beautiful young singer is waiting for the results of her biopsy, which she is to collect from the hospital at 7 o’clock.
Beginning with a tarot reading that shows the ominous cards in full colour before turning to black and white, the time span is split into chapters counting down the minutes as she goes to a café, rehearses with her band, meets a friend. She is a superficial young women who revels in her beauty, skipping lightly through life, she believes herself to be more alive than others because of it. And yet, in the time that is traditionally meant for lovers to meet, she is having to face her mortality and she’s scared.
Produced and directed by Agnès Varda the Parisian streetscapes were refreshingly real, people walking along look directly at the camera in curiosity and overheard fragments of conversation form a wonderful collage of city life as Cléo walks, takes a bus, a taxi or two. At one point she meets a friend, Dorothée, (Dorothée Blanck) who’s modelling for a sculpture class. Cléo asks her why she isn’t embarrassed about being naked, she says she would be worried the students would see a flaw. Dorothée says she isn’t embarrassed at all she’s happy with her body not proud of it. I loved that subtle scene that showed the vulnerability of Cleo.
I don’t want to give anything away about the ending, obviously it’s not a thriller, but it was lovely to watch unknowing. This is 90 highly recommended minutes viewing.