Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Micmacs (2009)

From the director of Amelie comes a sweet little film that isn't quite the crowd pleaser I hoped but is still a great deal of fun

The title according to the director means shenanigans and the film is full of them.

The plot of the film has a young man getting shot in the head during a drive by shoot out. The doctors can't remove the bullet with out risking his life so they flip a coin and decide to leave it in. Out of the hospital he has lost his home and lost his place of employment. Forced to live on the streets he eventually hooks up with a group of people who become his surrogate family. Together they set out to get revenge on not only the company that made the bullet that caused him to loose everything but also the company that made the landmine that killed his father in North Africa (luckily they are across the street from each other).

This is a sweet gentle film that is best described a version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs meets Oceans 11. Its a caper film about a bunch of down on their luck people trying to take back what the big corporations have taken from them. Its full of great characters, marvelous set pieces (for example they use a human canon ball as a means of stealing a truck) and a real sense of fun (there are advertisements for the film through out the film). I really liked this film and I enjoyed it when I saw it at the Tribeca Film festival.

Unfortunately, when I saw the film director Jean Pierre Jenuet, over sold the film at the screening and everyone around me was wondering what it was about the last ten minutes of the film that made him like to watch the film with an audience. We were all waiting for some big revelation, instead we got a little ending that warmed the heart but didn't provoke applause or big laughs or cheers. We liked the film we didn't love it.

I too really like the film, I don't love it. Its perhaps too knowing, a bit too calculated, however it still warms the heart and makes you feel good. The best thing I can say about the film is that it's actually worth the effort to go out and see at a full price screening. Since the film is currently in limited theatrical release here in the US and on DVD elsewhere in the world, you should have ample opportunity to do just that.

Not one of the best films I've seen this year but certainly one of the small pleasures.

If you ever get a chance to meet and listen to director Jean Pierre Jenuet hold court do so. His introduction and post screening Q&A was easily the best experience at the Tribeca Film festival. He was witty and engaging and human. He was a pure joy.

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