By Owen Gleiberman
Updated April 03, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT
Jeremie Bouilon

If you’ve had a longing to experience the kind of stultifying French studio film that inspired the New Wave directors of the ’50s to launch their revolt, then this is the movie for you — it’s like a pastry that’s been sitting on the shelf for 60 years. Paris 36 takes place in and around a Moulin Rouge-style music hall that’s reopened on the eve of World War II. But the ”spicy” numbers have no dazzle, the actors mug like contestants in a Maurice Chevalier impersonation contest, and the plot is a drily indigestible wad of show-must-go-on preciousness and socialist sentimentality. F

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