Peter John Dyer
René Clair is one of those few, very rare directors whose films gain by seeing twice and cannot be properly estimated until that second visit. His shaded, delicate style, with its thin but determinate narrative line, suggests more than it reveals….
Clair's highly individual work has developed identifiably. He is never a stranger. His career has not taken sudden twists and bouleversements. Porte des Lilas, with its refusal to surprise or astonish, its parsimonious exteriors, its dislike of technical bravura, is a formula film—the Clair formula of classicism….
This story has a charming and tentative beauty in its relationships, in its feeling for...
(The entire section is 425 words.)