, 89min, OmeU
Jacques Demy's original musical fantasy <![CDATA[<i>]]>Peau d’âne<![CDATA[</i>]]> offers many delights, from its opulent set and costume design to the luminous Catherine Deneuve in a dual role (playing both the Queen and her daughter Princess “Peau d’âne”) and Jean Marais, still effortlessly commanding the screen a quarter century after Jean Cocteau's <![CDATA[<i>]]>Beauty and the Beast<![CDATA[</i>]]>. In fact, this film allows Demy to pay loving tribute to Cocteau, one of his favorite filmmakers, whose spirit permeates almost every frame.
Demy follows the original tale almost scene for scene, while injecting his unique sensibility at every turn. A King loses his beloved Queen, whose dying wish is for him to remarry, but only to \"a woman more beautiful than I.\" His advisors urge him to find a new Queen, for the good of the kingdom, but none strike his fancy. At last his attentions turn to his own radiant daughter, who is the youthful image of his dead wife. With the help of the arch Lilac Fairy, the Princess nervously flees marriage to her father by wearing the skin of his prize magical donkey. She hides out in a neighboring kingdom, where she is ridiculed by the townspeople and can only find work for a hag so cruel that every time she speaks a frog pops out of her mouth. When a handsome young Prince comes to town, he falls madly in love with the disguised Princess, not knowing her true identity. The Prince is so enamored that he can't even get out of bed, spending all of his time fantasizing about her. His distraught parents, the Red King and Red Queen, send an envoy to the \"scullery wench,\" telling her to bake their son a special cake... and indeed she does. Inside, the Prince finds a golden ring, and vows to marry only the woman whose finger it fits. After trying it on every over-eager woman in the kingdom, at last Peau d’âne appears. The entire court holds both its breath as the Prince tries the ring on her finger. Will it be \"happily ever after\"?