Sunday, January 15, 2012

Capsule Review: A Very Long Engagement (2004)

After Jean-Pierre Jeunet's disastrous Hollywood experience which resulted in Alien Resurrection, he returned to France and made the timeless, internationally beloved Amélie. His followup appeared at first to be a rather dramatic change of pace - a romantic drama focusing on a woman's desperate attempt to discover the fate of her fiancee, who was sent to his death during WW1 due to self-mutilation. However, Jeunet's visual gymnastics and unique storytelling devices are in full force, as the film darts around timeliness, making use of frequent cutaways, and employs a huge number of quirky, fascinating characters. But this is much more than simply Amélie goes to war - despite Audrey Tautou once again being radiant in the lead role. For one, the material is much bleaker, with scenes of intense violence and brutality that might make more sensitive viewers wince. The scope is also much wider, and feels much more grounded in reality despite Jeunet's otherworldly tendencies. Features Jodie Foster in a small role, showing off her impressive french skills.

1 comment:

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