Monday, March 19, 2012

Movie of the Week – A Very Long Engagement

This week’s movie is A Very Long Engagement (2004).

The French romantic epic set against The Great War is about Mathilde and her unwavering search for her fiancé who disappears in no man’s land, after being sentenced to death for self-mutilation along four other men. The film plays like a detective mystery – with each new clue or piece of information, Mathilde comes closer to finding out what really happened. This is auteur director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s second film with actress Audrey Tautou (their first was Amelie). He is working again with screenwriter Guillaume Laurant, brilliant cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, editor Herve Schneid, and production designer Aline Bonetto (same group as with Amelie). Composer Angelo Badalamenti scored the film; he also worked with Jeunet on The City of Lost Children. Tautou stars as Mathilde, and Gaspard Ulliel, Dominique Pinon, Ticky Holgado, Marion Cotillard, Jodie Foster, Tcheky Karyo, and many more make up a fantastic supporting cast. A Very Long Engagement has a lot of the same quirkiness and great offbeat scenes as Amelie, but also has an epic scale to it with WWI’s war of attrition shown in graphic detail. Tautou is wonderful in the film, playing Mathilde as being outwardly strong but inwardly scared though resolute and hopeful. She is not ever going to give up until she knows the truth. It has some of the most beautiful cinematography, as well, from the last decade. It is a must for fans of grand romances and war films. Check out the trailer.

Available on DVD and Streaming

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