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A Very Long Engagement
UKScreen Rating:

A Very Long Engagement – Review


French teenager Manech (Ulliel) is one of five World War One French soldiers, court-martialled for self-mutilation and sentenced to die in no-man’s land.
Years after the war is over, his fiancée Mathilde (Tautou) still doesn’t believe he is dead and starts her own investigation to prove otherwise.
A collective of quirky characters helps her follow a string of futile dead ends as she sets out to get some answers.


Unmistakably from the team that made Amelie, this blend of warmth, humour and drama has a surreal, poetic edge.
But rather than the heightened colour palette of that Parisian fantasy, the dampened hues here make this look like it was shot when it’s set, in the 1920s.
The cinematography is stunning and the film successfully captures Mathilde’s sense of apprehension and determination.
Among the universally fine performances is an unexpected turn from Jodie Foster.
On the downside, at well over two hours, there are times when committing to this film feels like a very long engagement.

Opens January 21 2005



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