Senses of Cinema closes with this: "The power of melodrama, and certainly of this melodrama, resides precisely in luring us to these realisations through the banal, the sugar-coated, and perhaps the even laughable desire of a certain unknown woman." Slant Magazine calls it "a melodramatic perfect storm." Time Out gives it 5 out of 5 stars and calls it a "grand, heartbreaking masterpiece".
FilmReference.com calls it "an icon of cinema scholarship" and "an exceptionally fine film". Empire Online says it, "Does the job of the perfect melodrama and moves the audience to tears." DVD Talk says it is "A genuine classic's classic, and a 'women's film' that completely transcends that pigeonhole category".
The New Yorker compares this director to Wes Anderson. This film is listed in the book 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. TCM has an overview. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 100%.