A Very Long Engagement
November 26, 2004
Movie of the Day for Friday, August 27, 2004
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On the Big Board
||A wondrous film that makes gallows humor palatable and accentuates the absurdity and uselessness of war.
||Jeunet's whimsical style doesn't quite mesh with this wartime story
Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Audrey Tautou, who previously collaborated on the enchanting trifle Amélie, will reunite to tell a love story that is very different from that previous light and humorous effort.
A Very Long Engagement takes place near the end of World War I in France. In order to escape the horror of the frontline trenches at the Somme, five nearly hopeless men shoot themselves. They are court-martialed, and as punishment, are pushed out of an allied trench into no-man's land, left alone to die a horrible death.
The fiancée of one of the men, a young woman who has been unable to walk since she was three-years-old, suddenly receives some information that leads her to believe her boyfriend might have somehow been able to escape his prescribed fate. She sets out on a painful and frustrating search for the truth, which also leads her to learn about the absurdity of war, the strangeness of secrecy, and the everlasting fire and resolve possessed in the heart.
The film is based on an acclaimed novel by Sebastian Japrisot and looks poised to bring Tautou back into the forefront as one of the greatest young actresses working today. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
August 18, 2004
Due to a change in Academy Awards eligibility rules for Best Foreign Language Film nominees, A Very Long Engagement is out of the running. When the film scheduled its French release of October 27th some 15 months ago, the deadline for a movie to be screened for the first time in its home country was October 31st. The deadline date has since been changed to September 30th. Rather than switch the date to secure eligibility, Warner Independent has instead decided to focus upon securing a Best Picture nomination for the movie instead. This is a calculated risk the studio is taking, but it also indicates a solid degree of faith in the movie as a finished product. (David Mumpower/BOP)