The Universe and Me

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Un Long Dimanche de Fiançailles

Movie: A Very Long Engagement. French. Starring the waifish Audrey Tautou who is probably sick of being called waifish but may find it funny that I can’t pronounce her last name as anything other than tattoo. I’ll start with my only gripe first because this was a beautifully filmed and performed piece. My gripe is that I’m not French nor fluent in French so the abundance of characters made it a little tough in places to follow the action and discern who was who and who was doing what. Onto the praise. Audrey has a vulnerability in her face and large round eyes that makes her sympathetic no matter what type of role she takes on. In this serious one, her fiancé is one of five soldiers sentenced to execution for trying to get out of the war. The French army doesn’t want to take responsibility for their death, so they send them over the trench into No Man’s Land and their fate. It’s later, while trying to piece together their last hours that Audrey discovers some discrepancies, conflicting stories, mysteries and stumbles onto a series of clues, secrets and codes that she is determined to piece together to learn the truth. Interesting cinematography, what with the sepia tones. Excellent and realistic depiction of World War I trench warfare. Also a marvelous cameo by Jody Foster whose impeccable French accent, as far as Swedish me could tell, made me do a double take to make sure it was truly her.


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