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A Very Long Engagement
#1
Excellent movie- a truly consumate film. A wonderful war/mystery film that is stirring, stunning, engaging, beautiful, erotic, romantic, and geniunely emotional.

Easily the best WWI film since Paths of Glory with great attention to detail and grisly, appropriately grim battle sequences. They serve as a good foil to the quiet, personal scenes of Matilde trying to unravel her fiances fate. Subtle and beautiful as always, Tautou excells as the vulnerable yet passionate central character. And you get to see her ass!

Go see it if you get a chance. For me, this is a top five of the year film, but where it falls yet I am not sure. Excellent and extremely engaging.
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#2
Aye.

http://chud.com/reviews/684
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#3
Very good film indeed, I actually prefered it to the oh-so-cute shmaltz of Amelie. The ending is excellently downplayed, and indeed it has to have the best WWI scenes ever filmed. The mystery/thriller sequences are surprisingly dense for a film of this budget, and there are some incredible shots in this film.
My favourite: the crane shot whichs shows the 1920s place de la Madeleine briefly only to zoom in to the detective's office for the first time. There is something Kubrickian about physically altering (it wasn't CG) one of the busiest places in Paris - covering it with sand, bringing hundreds of extras, spending days preparing the shot - only for it to be very briefly glimpsed in the film as background fodder for maybe 3 seconds.

One of the year's best that I've seen, with Eternal Sunshine and Old Boy.
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#4
The trench scenes in this movie are freakin' amazing. Just an awesome and very different depiction of war. I loved the movie long time.
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#5
What made the war scenes so excellent is that Jeunet avoided using the under-cranked, jittery camera syndrome that has plagued battle scenes ever since "Saving Private Ryan." Jeunet thankfully realized that the best way to covey choas is with the action and not with the camera moves.

Some of the images were extremely horrifying, like the burning soldier's belt cartridges popping like fireworks or the formerly-fearless soldier getting covered in ground human. I got memory burns on some of those images.
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#6
Micah's review is dead-on. It delivered exactly what I'd expect from a Jeunet film, which is absolutely fine, considering the quality of his past work.

The only thing that mildly surprised me was how complicated and loaded with characters and backstories the trail became, I suppose as a result of Jeunet working from existing source material. I thought this was well-balanced with the primary story of Mathilde and her search, although I'm sure I'll be watching it again to take in all of the visuals without having to keep track of which soldier is which.

On a personal level, it was really cool to see a version of early 20th century Breton in Mathilde's scenes at home. My maternal grandparents grew up there, and, from what I've seen in old pictures, Jeunet seems to have nailed it (down to the crepes I used to have for breakfast).

As much as I love looking at Tatou, I'd love to see Dominique Pignon as a lead again. The guy's such a unique looking character, and he's done great in every supporting role Jeunet's given him since Delicatessen.
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#7
I can't wait to see this one. Might be able to make it to the art house this weekend if they are showing it.
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#8
Quote:

Originally Posted by DaveB

On a personal level, it was really cool to see a version of early 20th century Breton in Mathilde's scenes at home. My maternal grandparents grew up there, and, from what I've seen in old pictures, Jeunet seems to have nailed it (down to the crepes I used to have for breakfast).

Crepes make me want to believe in God
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#9
This is my pick for best of 2004. Just an amazingly well-balanced film. The lack of Oscar love for this (beyond art direction and cinematography, and it damn well better take those categories) is beyond stupefying to me. But then, not many people are really talking about it, here or elsewhere, so I can't expect the pettily political Academy to follow suit, can I?
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#10
Great movie. I got the chance to see it last month at a screening in Atlanta prior to my move to South Carolina.

Jeunet has some of the coolest visuals in his films and Tautou is certainly his ingenue. He was able to capture both the happy and sad moments perfectly and it made for an overall enjoyable night at the cinema.

8.3 out of 10
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#11
Quote:

Originally Posted by AJ Blood

This is my pick for best of 2004. Just an amazingly well-balanced film. The lack of Oscar love for this (beyond art direction and cinematography, and it damn well better take those categories) is beyond stupefying to me. But then, not many people are really talking about it, here or elsewhere, so I can't expect the pettily political Academy to follow suit, can I?

Wasn't there some sort of row about the film's funding? Like France refused to nominate it for best Foreign Film because it was largely funded by Warner Bros? That pretty much killed the chances of it winning in any major categories.

It also recieved slightly mixed reviews. Most were generally positive, but this movie didn't floor people. Hell, I loved it, and I wasn't floored.
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#12
Gonna see this tomorrow. Can't wait, I doubt Jeunet will dissappoint.
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#13
I can honestly understand some people being underwhelmed by it, and I was fully aware going in that it wasn't garnering absolute glowing praise from the critics. That's all well and good. All I know is that it far exceeded my own expectations, and that's why it ended up topping my list.

The whole financing thing makes sense as to why there hasn't been much of an awards campaign. Thanks for clearing that up.
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