Sunday, March 29, 2009

A review I wish I'd written five years ago

"A Very Long Engagement" is a very long movie.

It has taken me about four days to make it through this film. But anything with Audrey Tautou is worth the effort. Well, almost.

It's actually a pretty good film about a young woman who is the fiancée of a young French soldier (the English subtitles of the French-language film say fiancé; I'm beginning to wonder if the French actually know how to speak French), and her attempts to find that childhood sweetheart after he has almost certainly died a few years earlier in the trench warfare of World War I.

There are some bleak battle scenes with a fair amount of blood, but nothing as drawn out as "Saving Private Ryan" or things like that. The futility of World War I and the despair of the survivors are major themes.

The dialogue and the characters are in that quirky style for which French films are known (a trait shared by much of Japanese and modern Korean cinema). It's a style I happen to enjoy, but I know it's not for everyone. In fact, the reason I don't review things is because I tend to suspect I might be the only who enjoys whatever it is I'm enjoying, and I'd hate to impose that on anyone else.

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