I love Jacques Rivette, he truly was the most undervalued member of the Nouvelle Vague- and this film highlights everything that was great about him. It's complex, but warm with bouts of subtle moments of surrealism. I think if I could sum it up in one word it would be magical!
The film's essence is reflected on Ninon's (single) dance move: a particular kind of arm-waving performed in endless variations. Here Rivette's aim is to engage the audience in a dialectic not just mimetic of old-time musicals but rather assimilated along with contemporary preocupations: the effect is the absolute opposite of cinema as escapism, it is an act of genuine trust on the audience's intellect.
The warm, enchanting dynamism of this film marks a sort of comeback to the "Céline et Julie" style. Rivette's filmmaking renews itself with this vaporous mixture of magic and theatrical intrigue, between odd musical numbers that create a truly unique work. The genius of Rivette is present here at its most creative level.