Micmacs (2009)

Micmacs (2009) — I would try to write this review in French… but I didn’t do that well in French… Anyway, Micmacs (full title: Micmacs à tire-larigot) is the latest film from French auteur Jean-Pierre Jenuet.  So of course it has the usual signs of a Jeunet film: whimsical characters, painterly visuals, and the actor Dominique Pinon.  At this point Jeunet ranks alongside the likes of Terry Gilliam as far as creating his own unique worlds. The film is about Bazil (Dany Boon) who as a child loses his father to a landmine explosion and as an adult is non-fatally shot in the head. His life sort of falls apart after that last thing and he soon finds himself taken in by a group of eccentric people who have also fallen on hard times and live in a junkyard salvaging goods. Through blind chance, Bazil finds the arms companies that manufactured the landmine that killed his father and the bullet that ruined his life. He decides to take revenge (but, you know, in a whimsical French way). The movie does not have a particularly kind view of the arms trade so the movie won’t win any fans among N.R.A.-types (but if I may stereotype broadly, those guys tend not to be too big on the French anyway). The movie is not on the same level of greatness as Jeunet’s earlier films Amélie and A Very Long Engagement, but it is light and fun and entertaining. It has a certain joie de vivre (hey, I did work in some French after all!) that just left me happy as I left the theater.

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