Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

1 hr 37 min | Musicals

Working from the surreal imagery and concrete emotions with which Brel laced his lyrics, songwriter Mort Shuman (himself co-creator of some of the most memorable hit songs for the Drifters and Elvis Presley) transforms Brel's French chansons into lushly romantic yet unsentimental English language versions. Shuman, Elly Stone, and Joe Masiell give voice to Brel's tangos and boleros in an explosion of settings that are inexhaustibly imaginative and intimate. But the true showstopper offers Brel himself singing his signature, "Ne Me Quitte Pas," in a sequence that ranks as one of the most powerfully understated and sincere musical performances ever put on film.