I watched A Very Long Engagement over the weekend. It’s a French film with English subtitles. I was a little concerned about it’s Chick Flick title and the fact that it was in French, but I needn’t have been – it was absolutely superb!
The first thing that you notice about this film is that it is so beautifully shot. Every single frame is a work of art. It’s set in the early 1920s after the great war and the director has chosen to use a sepia effect and this gives the film a lovely, old feel, and it all looks so wonderfully done.
The story is set around a young woman, Mathilde, who won’t accept the fact that her fiancé was killed in No-man’s Land during the war. She believes in her heart that she’s just know if he were dead, so she sets off to find out the truth for herself. It’s a love story at it’s heart but contains some truly depressing (and impressive) war footage plus an intricate mystery. It’s very cleverly done.
Audrey Tatou, who plays Mathilde, is great as the polio-afflicted heroine. She gives an under-stated and very stylish performance of a stubborn young woman after only one thing – the truth of her fiancé’s apparent demise.
I’d have hated to see this dubbed. It’s perfect in French with subtitles and I really should see more of director Jean-Pierre Jeunet‘s other work. This is a very arty, powerful, emotionally-charged film and not Chick-flick at all.
Get the DVD.