Mic Macs à tire-larigot [aka Micmacs] (2009)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Mic Macs à tire-larigot</strong> [aka <strong class="MovieTitle">Micmacs</strong>] (2009)

(In-flight, August 2010) One of the advantages of watching a film by a visual stylist is that there’s always something to enjoy even if the story itself isn’t that interesting.  So it is that Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs is at the same time a typical Jeunet production (quirky characters, ever-shifting visual presentation, elaborate Rube-Goldenesque details, intricate cinematographic polish, etc.) and yet far short of career-best Amélie.  There just isn’t enough universally-compelling material in here to keep things interesting, especially when it feels so one-sided in favour of its protagonists.  The anti-arms-trade message is heartfelt, but becomes too-obvious at its worst.  Still, it’s entertaining to watch, in no small part due to the escalating set-pieces in which events are set in motion with grandiose consequences.  It flies past smoothly and its visual audacity is terrific.  There are a few laughs, but much of the film is just a joy to watch.  A word of warning for francophones watching the film’s original sound-track, though: Micmacs is so deeply set in Parisian argot that non-Parisians may find it more useful to turn on the English sub-title track to understand some of the dialogue.

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