Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

A Very Long Engagement

The next movie we saw was this French film, by the maker of Amelie, and starring the same actress, Audrey Tautou, for whom the term gamine might have been coined. Unlike the first movie, which was a happy farce, A Very Long Engagement is a bittersweet piece. Tautou is in waif mode as Mathilde, a young French girl mildly handicapped by polio. She becomes engaged to her childhood friend, Mathieu, just as he is haled off to the trenches of World War I. When she is informed that he has been put to death for cowardice, she refuses to believe it, and, once the war has ended, begins the search to find him and find out what really happened. The story of her hunt is told alternating with the stories of other persons whose lives were affected by the same events, and flashbacks exposing the stupidity, cruelty, and brutality of the conduct of the war. This really is a marvelous piece. It has the same beautiful photography, open frankness, and wonderful acting as Amelie, but with a more mature, powerful plot. In French, with subtitles. Nudity, a couple of tasteful sex scenes. Highly recommended for mature viewers.
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