Shortly after World War I, veteran Raphaël (Raphaël Thiery) returns home from the frontlines a widower and father to an infant daughter. Raised in rural Normandy, the child Juliette (Juliette Jouan) grows into a headstrong young woman who dreams of greater possibilities. She seeks refuge in the nearby woods, where she meets a witch who promises scarlet sails will one day take her away from her village. Reckoning with her future and swept away by a rakish young pilot (Louis Garrel) who literally falls from the sky, Juliette never stops believing in the witch’s prophecy. Tracing Juliette’s journey throughout the 20 years of great invention between the World Wars, SCARLET delicately weaves together music and fantasy, history and folklore, realist drama and ethereal romance, to craft a timeless story of a young woman’s emancipation. Director Pietro Marcello follows up his dramatic breakthrough MARTIN EDEN with this enchanting period fable.
“A fascinating, slippery movie filled with lyrical beauty, acts of barbarism, moments of magic and unexpected hope…. An expansive, visually adventurous approach to a story about people and the historical forces that define, imprison and sometimes liberate them. I’m still grappling with the movie, and am eager to see it again.” —Manohla Dargis, New York Times “A charming French language fable…. Recalls the work of Jacques Demy.” —Peter DeBruge, Variety “Not quite a musical, sort of a folktale, and almost but not entirely a hardscrabble hunk of post-war realism before all of a sudden changing gears…. A kind of very modern throwback, mixing a certain kind of modern Italian style with the dream of French cinema of old…boy, does it soar.” —Ben Croll, The Wrap