Peter Bradshaw, guardian.co.uk wrote:
The rerelease of Agnès Varda’s 1961 classic underscores its claim to be a pioneering glory of the new wave. Corinne Marchand is Cléo, a beautiful singer and glamorous young woman-about-town; in a kind of real time, we follow her eventful Paris whirl from 5 to 7 one evening. Traditionally, that’s the moment for married men to meet their mistresses, but here it’s the time Cléo must wait for the results of cancer tests, uneasily keeping an ear open for news of Edith Piaf’s recent illness. Cléo befriends a young soldier (Antoine Bourseiller) about to ship out to Algeria – does he face his own death sentence? – and when they together hear the results of Cléo’s tests, it is an extraordinary, ambiguous moment. The Parisian streetscapes are beautiful and thrilling, and the tarot scene at the beginning, combined with overheard fragments of anxious city lives, give this something of TS Eliot. A farcically comic film-within-a-film sequence shows Jean-Luc Godard in larky cameo, not so very different from the wacky, childlike quality of his own early works.