DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Film Review: A Very Long Engagement

A Very Long Engagement or Un long dimanche de fiançailles (15)
Dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

French mentalist director Jean-Pierre ‘Alien Resurrection’ Jeunet reunites with his Amelie star Audrey ‘soon to be seen in The Da Vinci Code’ Tatou for a stylish tale of love, hope and horrific wartime inhumanity…

Based on a bestselling novel, it's 1920 and Mathilde (Tatou) a hot young woman who suffers from Polio just can't accept that her beloved fiancé Manech played by Gaspard ‘Brotherhood of the Wolf’ Ulliel was killed in battle.

We journey with her on an odyssey of flashbacks featuring Manech enduring horror and confusion in the muddy trenches of the Somme. His fate is uncertain and the plot thickens as we are introduced to a strange and wonderful selection of people whose lives are intertwined with the two lovers…

From a saucy and highly murderous prostitute (Marion Cotillard) to a woman named Elodie Gordes (Jodie Foster) who goes to desperate measures to bring her husband home from the front line… like sleeping with another man to try and get her number of kids up to 6 – which equals paternity leave!!
The screenwriters have packed in just about every scene and character from the novel which makes it hard work to keep up with what’s going on and who’s doing what to whom and why… My wife freely admitted that she was lost more than once…
It all looks fantastic, the battle sequences are jaw-dropping and a scene involving a zeppelin housed in a makeshift hospital is unbelievable. The only down side to this long engagement is that it is long, very very long and those who dislike subtitled films will struggle.
I really enjoyed it and look forward to what Jeunet rustles up next!

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (top French love and death - beautifully shot)

"beware of foxy hookers carrying concealed shooters!!"

"Mmmmm Audrey Tatou - looking good whatever she wears"

Darkmatters: H O ME

1 comment:

Carl V. Anderson said...

This was a great film. Of course I am biased because Jeunet is far and away my favorite director. I've enjoyed every film (Delicatessin FINALLY comes out on DVD in the states next month) with Amelie being my favorite. Audrey is one of the most wonderful actresses I've seen and she is not in near enough movies!

I saw this film a little over a year ago in the theatre and have the DVD which I'm now yearning to watch again since I just got it back from a friend who had it for a good long time.

Foreign films are definitely a crap shoot...some people get them and some just don't. I think Juenet's films, especially these past two, transcend other films in their genre.

Glad you enjoyed it. I look forward to watching it again soon.