- A Very Long Engagement review by Swambi
This is a unique film. Whilst it retains the quirky commedy and romance of Amelie, it takes it to a far darker and more mature level, with brilliant direction and cinematography. It successfully combines a wide range film categories - romance, history, war, detective and mystery - it's imposible to pin it down to any single type. Audrey Tautou delivers an amazing performance as a determined girl who refuses to believe that her fiancee died in the war, and will stop at nothing to discover the truth. Shots alternate between harrowing and detailed depiction of life and death in the trenches, with stunningly beautiful scenes, centred on the atlantic coast. The story develops over an extended period, and involves multiple strands, so that getting a full understanding of exactly what's happening benefits from more than a single viewing (unless you are very fast on the uptake).
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful.
- A Very Long Engagement review by JD
I don't know what it is about good French films but this had the same feeling as Jean De Florette and Amelie. Audrey Tautou was the reason I requested this film and she is superb. As an added and entirely unexpected surprise for me was an appearance from Jodie Foster. For me the two best actresses in modern cinema.
Set against this was trench warfare which was poignantly pointless and dehumanising and seen from a very personal perspective. The plot was a bit convoluted with several lines of investigation and the male actors were not quite as fantastically gifted as their female colleagues but I would generally recommend this film.
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
Excellent blend of romance and battlefield action - highly recommended
- A Very Long Engagement review by RP
It's in French, with subtitles. But don't let that put you off - this is a superb film, blending romance, battlefield action, and search for a missing fiancé.
Mathilde, played by the always excellent Audrey Tatou, searches for the truth about her fiancé Manech, sentenced to death - along with four others - for self inflicted wounds during WW1. The death sentence is carried out by forcing the men into No Man's Land, where they will be killed by enemy fire. After the war, Mathilde refuses to believe that Manech is dead and searches for him, both herself and using a private investigator. During the search the stories of each of the condemned men is explored, giving each of them a fair amount of characterisation.
Told with a voice-over dialogue, the film intertwines several threads of story to give a satisfying complex tale with a happy - if somewhat ambiguous - ending.
I enjoyed this film. The acting, the dialogue and the photography are very good and the war scenes as grim - if not grimmer - than the opening of 'Saving Private Ryan'. Look out for Jodie Foster displaying a remarkably good French accent in a small part.
Excellent - 5/5 stars - highly recommended.
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.