A Very Long Engagement (Un Long Dimanche De Fiancailles)

A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENTBBBBB

(out of 5)


Just after World War I, an orphan girl (Amelie‘s ) believes that the orphan boy she has loved since childhood () didn’t die on the battlefield as reported and is still alive waiting to be found. She investigates the lives of those who shared a trench with him and follows a spiderweb of a mystery, all the while fearing with absolute dread the possibility that it is simply a caprice of her mind and that he really is dead. This exquisite film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet is his absolute masterpiece, a fantastic combination of touching romance, horrific war drama and Clouzot-worthy mystery, led along by Tautou’s sterling performance and a host of colourful supporting characters (none the least of which include , who gets to show off her skills in French on the big screen). As with all Jeunet’s films, the visuals are fantastic, with colourful cinematography and detail-perfect sets and costumes that bring the period to life with vivid imagination, but it is the emotional content that really makes this one soar.  The romance isn’t drippy but is nestled safely in a powerful story about the tragic reality of war and the effect it has on the chain of our existence, augmented by a healthy sense of humour (“Doggie Fart, Gladdens My Heart!”) that buoys the experience in reality. Hope is the only ally against the enemy here, and when it is taken away is the greatest adversary of them all.


2003 Productions, Warner Bros., Tapioca Films, TF1 Films Production, Canal+, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Région Ile-de-France, Région Bretagne, Région Poitou-Charentes, Gerber Pictures

France/USA, 2004

Directed by

Story and adaptation by Jean-Pierre Laurent, , dialogue by Guillaume Laurant, based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by


Academy Award Nominations
Best Art Direction (art direction: Aline Bonetto)
Best Cinematography (Bruno Delbonnel)

Golden Globe Award Nomination
Best Foreign Language Film (France)

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. LOVE this movie. Great review!

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