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Posted on Saturday, August 20th, 2005

Dave!I finally got around to watching Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Un long dimanche de fiançailles (A Very Long Engagement) starring the ever-radiant Audrey Tautou. I can't image the pressure of following up his previous success with Tautou (the incredible Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain), but Jeunet somehow managed to deliver.

Engagement takes place after World War I, as Mathilde (Tautou) begins a search for her fiance, who disappeared during the war. She's been told he is dead but feels that if he had died, she would somehow know it. And since his body hasn't been uncovered, she refuses to believe it. Her search takes her on a fascinating journey that uncovers secrets, lies, danger, and a mystery...


The pacing of the 2 hours and 13 minutes is deliberately slow but, because the story was so beautifully shot, I never minded a bit. In addition, there were stunning special effects woven into the visuals which means there is always something incredible to see. This being Jeunet there were other quirky treats along the way, including a cameo by Jodie Foster (speaking flawless French), that was just icing on the cake.

By the time the movie had ended I was ready to watch the entire film again. And, if I had another 2-1/2 hours to spare, I would have. I've never had a desire to learn French, but if Jeneut continues to crank out these masterpieces I may have to start. The temptation to watch his work without subtitles is simply too great.

As for Tautou, she is starring with Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code come next year, so at least there will be something nice to look at if they screw up the book adaptation.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "A woman without love wilts like a flower without sun."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: The Punisher (2004) with Thomas Jane and John Travolta.

Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink


  1. Troy says:

    Firda and I saw A Very Long Engagement in January and I enjoyed it as well. I’ve enjoyed all of his movies so far (at least the ones I’ve seen), even Aliens: Resurrection. I’m just waiting for the powers that be to put Delicatessen out on DVD. I’ve seen it on tape and loved it.

    The City of Lost Children is out on DVD and if you haven’t seen it run out and rent it. Weird but great.

  2. Cavan says:

    Can’t wait to see this one – I’ve got it on my Zip List (a Canadian equivalent to Netflix). Tautou is a fantastic actress – if you haven’t yet, you should check out Dirty Pretty Things – another great performance by her, and in English no less.

  3. Jackie says:

    Hi Dave!
    I got here from SJ’s “Chronic List-a-holic.” You should tell her if that’s actually your car. The world wants to know. Okay, well, just me and her probably.

    I love the tab format at the top and liked your faq section, too. I just bought a great vegetarian cookbook. I’m going to try to do some new things with pumpkin this fall.

    Anyway, I’ve added you to my blogroll for easy access. Hopefully some of my readers will like your blog as much as I do…

    I think you should complete “Davetopia.”


  4. Kevin says:

    That was a spectacular movie. After watching this, Amelie, Dirty Pretty Things, and He Loves Me…, I can say that Tautou is probably my favorite actress. Spectacular acting. And she is a stunner, isn’t she?

    If you want to try something different, check out He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. She puts her own spin on obsessive love. Good film.

  5. Michelle says:

    The quote is from Amelie, of course. my favorite movie. Without you, today’s emotions would be the scurf of yesterday’s.
    I think “A very long engagement” may be one of the best–or only–movies successfully that combine a romantic story with war and people blowing up. or maybe i haven’t seen enough war movies.

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