For some reason I can’t quite fathom (there does not appear to be any cross-over promotional opportunity) Amelie (SBS Sat 930P) is followed by A Very Long Engagement (SBS Sun 930P), both directed by Frenchman Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Audrey Tatou. Perhaps we can put it down to lazy programming.
A Very Long Engagement is set during WW1 where a young woman refuses to believe that her fiance has died on the Western front. His back story and her quest to find out what happened to him lead us on a merry dance with eccentric characters, red herrings and unconventional story arcs. None of this should really surprise fans of Jeunet however (Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children). The palette of this film remains strong in its “period” colours of blue and green. Equally vivid is the overwhelming brightness of primary colours in Amelie. A Very Long Engagement is a mix between a mystery, a romance and a war movie with some images confronting in this context. A competantly made story with entertaining characters make this worth watching.
Not all care for Jeunet’s style however as I have discovered in recent times. After extolling the wonders and virtues of Amelie as one of my favourite romantic comedies of all time, a couple of workmates have struggled to get to the end and complained of being bored. Really ! Quelle horreur. Clearly they have no taste.