July 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Danny Boon, Yolande Moreau, Julie Ferrier
Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet (“Amelie”)
Written by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet (“Amelie”) and Guillaume Laurant (“Amelie”)

To venture into the mind of filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet must be a wonderful thing. While it has been six long years since his last film, the beautifully imagined “A Very Long Engagement,” Jeunet, best known for his 2001 Oscar-nominated film “Amelie,” picks up right where he left off with “Micmacs,” another whimsical foray into a surreal world of innovative fantasy and visual sensation.

In “Micmacs,” Jeunet and writing partner Guillaume Laurant tell the story of Bazil (Danny Boon), a man seeking revenge against two weapons manufacturers who he feels are responsible for the death of his father and for the bullet lodged in his brain that could literally kill him at any moment.

After losing his apartment, Bazil is welcomed to stay with a group of eccentric characters who live inside a junkyard. Each one of them brings a distinct talent to the table, which Bazil discovers could help him in his vengeful quest. This includes a pretty contortionist, a woman with a calculator-like brain, and a human cannonball, all of whom are available to go on the madcap caper with Bazil.

While not as memorable as “Amelie” or “Engagement,” “Micmacs” is as close as anyone can get to an animated film without the animation. Jeunet is anything but shy about his style and how he wants his film to capture the moviegoer’s eye with every vivid frame. With cinematographer Tetsuo Nagata (“Splice”) helming the photography of the picture, every nuance of Jeunet’s odd little circus sideshow is realized through a delightful combintion of clever dialouge and classic cinematic references.


October 19, 2009 by  
Filed under CineStrays

Starring: Yolande Moreau, Ulrich Tukur, Anne Bennent
Directed by: Martin Provost (“Le ventre de Juliette”)
Written by: Martin Provost (“Le ventre de Juliette”) and Marc Abdelnour (“Le ventre de Juliette”)

While director Martin Provost’s award-winning French film “Séraphine” can be terribly sluggish at times, actress Yolande Moreau’s performance as the imaginative and mentally-ill title housekeeper-turned-artist with a true passion for painting is inspired work. As a fascinating lesson in art history, “Seraphine” is an art-house film that is demanding of its audience but one that should be admired, especially by those who have never heard of the French artist before.