Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Micmacs A Tire-Larigot
France, 2009. Epithète Films, Tapioca Films, Warner Bros., France 2 Cinéma, France 3 Cinéma, Orange Cinéma Séries, France 2, France 3, Région Ile-de-France. Scenario by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Guillaume Laurant, dialogue by Guillaume Laurant. Cinematography by Tetsuo Nagata. Produced by Frederic Brillion, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Gilles Legrand. Music by Raphael Beau. Production Design by Aline Bonetto. Costume Design by Madeline Fontaine. Film Editing by Herve Schneid. Toronto International Film Festival 2009.
After losing his father as a young boy to a minefield accident, a video store clerk is shot in the forehead by a stray bullet and, miraculously, survives. Released from the hospital following a full recovery, he tries to get his now-compromised life back together but is finding it difficult until a few strokes of luck work in his favour. He discovers a makeshift family of oddballs and misfits living, Fraggle Rock style, in a wonderfully strange underground headquarters that administers to their various talents (one can count anything, another is a miraculously pliable contortionist, etc.). Even more helpful, he comes across two rival arms manufacturers, both of whom are responsible for bad things that have happened to him in his life, and decides it is time to set upon the path of revenge for all of his misfortune. The process by which he plays these two Axis of Evil companies against each other is a methodically perfect delight, its step-by-step process bursting with imaginative details, the likes of which we have come to expect from director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. It has the same delicious love of process that his films usually feature, not to mention gorgeous photography and production design, with the only drawback being that the romantic angle isn’t as plush as it was in A Very Long Engagement. Still, it’s a charmer from beginning to end that you won’t want to miss.