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Monday, September 1, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  A Very Long Engagement cinematronic
  director

Jean-Pierre Jeunet

cast

Audrey Tautou, Gaspard Ulliel, Jodie Foster, Jean-Pierre Becker, Clovis Cornillac, Marion Cotillard, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Julie Depardieu, Albert Dupontel, Ticky Holgado, Tchéky Karyo, Denis Lavant, Chantal Neuwirth, Dominique Pinon

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  In 2001, French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and sylph-like leading lady Audrey Tautou brought cheer and wonder to audiences with the adorable romantic fable "Amélie." Their subsequent collaboration, "A Very Long Engagement," is a darker entity: the journey of a young woman, pretty but crippled Mathilde (Tautou), who's determined to find her missing fiancé, a World War I enlistee thought to have perished at the front. As spectacle, anti-war tract and character gallery, the film impresses even if it doesn't deliver the grand emotions one expects. Amid mire and mortar fire in the trenches, five French soldiers are accused of mutilating themselves to be relieved of duty. They're court-martialed, and, as punishment, thrown into no-man's land to be killed in the crossfire. One of the soldiers is Mathilde's betrothed, Manech (Gaspard Ulliel). After the fighting ends, he's listed as a casualty. She thinks he's alive, and sets out to prove it with the determination of a distaff Inspector Maigret. Her investigation takes in the fates of the other men who shared Manech's combat-zone conviction. Tautou is the endearing main attraction in a cast that includes Jodie Foster as a woman who shares Mathilde's plight. The script, co-written by Jeunet from the novel by Sebastien Japrisot, has moments of humor, although it doesn't skimp on the ugliness and insanity of war. It's rendered on screen with Jeunet's usual visual panache.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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