Un long dimanche de fiançailles [A Very Long Engagement] (2004)

(In theaters, February 2005) Fans of Jean-Pierre Jeunet will be pleased: The conscious aesthetic displayed in Amelie are once more present here in this romance/suspense hybrid that either uses a love story as an excuse for a war drama, or vice-versa. Visually, this is a gorgeous film: The sepia colouration meshes surprisingly well with Jeunet’s dynamic direction, and the switch between harsh WW1 drama and romantic rural France isn’t as jarring as you may think. Deftly mixing military fiction with a long-running investigation in the search for a long-lost love, Un Long Dimanche De Fiancailles is a delight from start to finish at both a visual and a narrative level. While it runs slightly longer than it should and sometimes fails to exploit all the possibilities at its disposition, it’s nonetheless a fantastic film and a good showcase of how modern film-making technique can jazz up some classic stories. Don’t miss a French-language appearance by Jodie Foster, or the clever nods to different genres as the film progresses.

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