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The Singer Review

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An ageing dance-hall singer (Depardieu) finds his world-weariness eased by estate agent Cécile De France in this unusual French musical.

★★★★

The French don’t usually do musicals, but Xavier Giannoli’s bittersweet portrait of an ageing variétés singer from Clermont-Ferrand owes much to the classic Hollywood backstager.

Fearing the onset of karaoke and tiring of bedding love-starved housewives, Gérard Depardieu brings world-weary charm to the minor celebrity whose infatuation with estate agent Cécile De France makes the round of dance-hall gigs and appearances at old people’s homes that bit more bearable.

Filmed in lush, gaudy colours, this is a film of heart and humour that consistently confounds expectations. Moreover, everything feels authentic, with Depardieu crooning his sentimental ballads with unassuming panache.

Constantly confounding expectations, this is a film of heart and humour.

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