Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Film Yap: Micmacs

Writer/director Jean-Pierre Jeunet has a gift for showing why the smallest things can be the most fantastical. His films including Delicatessen and Amélie have dazzled audiences all around the world. After a five-year hiatus Jeaunet returns with the odd film Micmacs.

Bazil (My Best Friend’s Dany Boon) was accidently shot in the head when a fight was going on outside his store. He survives but the bullet is still lodged in his skull. He becomes homeless and moves in with a group of quirky misfits who are all living the motherly Tambouille. This includes the adorable Calculette (Marie-Julie Baup) who can instantly deduce the measurements of everything around her; daredevil Fracasse (Dominique Pinon); and the remarkable contortionist La Môme Caoutchouc (Julie Ferrier).

With their help, Bazil has decided to take revenge against the arms manufactures in the most Jeunet way possible. The film is full of these miniature cons that are unique, colorful, and imaginative. However what worked best were the small visual jokes, not the main conceit. That becomes true of the movie as a whole. All of the characters are enjoyable and the opponents are quite villainous in a fun simplified manner.

There’s something missing to make this work as a cohesive whole. Perhaps it’s not enough jokes or the team doesn’t work as a balanced whole. Many times throughout the film it really just became the La Môme show as it continuously showed off her ability to stretch in every direction and fit into the smallest of spaces. The scenes that worked better is when every gets to play along like as they worked on the cannon.

With all of its bumps, Jeunet’s innovation still shines through and it a welcome change of pace for the regular routine of comedies. His worlds are unique and inviting despite the darker elements that tend to reign. His films inspire the underdog without ever asking them to change. So when he makes a film with flaws, it’s still worth a recommendation because it shows he’s still trying new and fun things.

The extras are great. There is a 45 minute behind the scenes look of the movie which isn’t consisting of those stupid cast interviews. Instead it’s footage of Jeunet directing the cast and crew during key scenes. There’s also a Q&A with Jeunet and Ferrier, a commentary by Jeunet, and a set of animations. All of them are must sees for Jeunet fans.

Film: 3.5 Yaps

Extras: 4 Yaps


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