Monday, March 28, 2011

Jean-Pierre Jeunet: Micmacs, Delicatessen, Amelie

This week I will be in Madison, Wisconsin for the 2011 Wisconsin Film Festival, where I was invited to be a juror for the Wisconsin's Own competition (for filmmakers and films with ties to Wisconsin).  I will post Quick Picks this week, and upon my return I will resume the normal schedule.

If I can, I will try to post some dispatches from Madison to let you know what I've seen, so that you can keep those films on your radar for when they come to a theater near you.

This week Netflix Watch Instantly has added the latest film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Micmacs (2009).  Fans of his other films should appreciate his unique mix of eccentric characters and imaginative art direction.  Watch Instantly has several of his other films, including perhaps his most famous, Amelie (2001).

Micmacs (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France, 2009, 104 minutes)
Netflix: French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet takes a satirical look at the global arms trade with this foreign-language comedy starring Dany Boon as Bazil, who rallies his friends to take down weapons manufacturers responsible for his father's death. Bazil also discovers a dump into an underground haven for cool tools and sculptures crafted from discarded junk. Dominique Pinon, André Dussollier and Jean-Pierre Marielle co-star. Netflix link.

Delicatessen (Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, France, 1991, 99 minutes)
Netflix: Gentle clown Louison (Dominique Pinon) moves into a tenement with a deli on the ground floor and falls for the butcher's daughter, Julie (Marie-Laure Dougnac). But it's soon discovered that her father (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) is really butchering people (à la Sweeney Todd) and selling the meat to tenants. At a crossroads, Julie must decide whether to remain loyal to her father or expose him to save Louison from becoming the next entrée. Netflix link.

Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France, 2001, 122 minutes)
Netflix: When impish gamine Amélie (Audrey Tautou), who lives alone, finds a long-hidden trove of toys behind a baseboard in her apartment, she's inspired to repatriate the items, an impulse of generosity that sparks more benevolent acts. A celebration of life and love, French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Oscar-nominated charmer stresses the importance of small wonders that surround us, if only we paused to look. Netflix link.

A Very Long Engagement (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France, 2004, 133 minutes)
Netflix: Amelie's Audrey Tautou stars as Mathilde, a young Frenchwoman who vows to find out what happened to her missing fiancé (Gaspard Ulliel) during World War I. He appears to have died after a court-martial, but she needs to know for sure. As she looks for the truth, she discovers unexpected things about herself and the people she meets along the way. Jean-Pierre Jeunet directs this foreign-language adaptation of Sebastien Japrisot's novel. Netflix link.

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