At once a romantic pot-boiler and richly layered allegory, Cocteau’s film inhabits the twilight as it lulls us into its delicate dreaminess. The plot is ridiculous: Orphée is a rather louche and beautiful young poet, seemingly the focus of desire for the Princess of Death, who steals him away and murders his wife Eurydice, whom he then pursues into the Underworld. It’s a film of poetic excess, an opiated dream, yet also light and unforced, tricking and tempting the viewer out of our stoical modernist cynicism to indulge in a fancy, if only for a moment or two.
- Newlyn Filmhouse
France 1950 95m subtitles