Monday, 14 January 2008

Un long dimanche de fiançailles

A Very Long Engagement
- It was a fairly long film (just over 2 hours) based on the novel by Sébastien Japrisot.

But the few years it covers don't drag. Five French soldiers court martialled for self-mutilation at the Somme provide glimpses of the human costs of war, the complexity of their lives and the effect of their experiences on those around them, both in the trenches and back home.

It sounds heavy, but there's so much humour, a lightness of touch, a fairy-tale quality to the unfolding story, which carries us through to the pensive, but understated conclusion. Conclusion is the wrong word for where we arrive. Typically French, this work of art opens windows of possibility for the imagination to pursue the story long after the credits have rolled.

Another masterpiece by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Audrey Tautou, of Amélie fame. Strong caméo by Jodie Foster too.

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