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Movie Review: A Very Long Engagement

Alternate Title: Alternate Title: Love Conquers All

Story: Add this wonderful film to your 'must see' list immediately. French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a very talented filmmaker (Delicatessen, City of Lost Children and Amelie).

Jeunet based his film on the novel by Sebastion Japrisot. It is set in France at the end of WW 1. Our leading lady is grieving for the possible loss of her beloved fiance who failed to return from the front. She knows in her heart he is still alive.

The film is a love story but also is a mystery, a bit of a thirller, a quest and a war story. How she gets to the truth is told in imaginative flashbacks. There are five separate and interwoven story lines. After I left the theater there was much to think about. Mainly, I wondered how the heck this film ever got made.

It is also a visually astonishing piece. The scenes are awash in sun-drenched or bleached tonality with an occasional hint of sepia. The time period is reflected beautifully. The war scenes are brutal but necessary.

Do not miss this fabulous piece of cinema. It is going directly on my Best List of 2004. Bravo!

Acting: Perfection. Audrey Tautou (pronounced toe-too) delighted audiences in Amelie and returns to stretch her range. She is gorgeous and talented. The rest of the cast is superb as well.

Predilection: I like this director.

Critters: Quite an array of critters including, an albatross, three cats, a dog named Chickpea and lots of livestock.

Food: Yummy French cuisine. A quest makes one hungry.

Visual Art: A palette to please the eye.

Soundtrack: Wonderfully unobtrusive.

Opening Titles: Attention to detail is seen throughout the film so of course the titles are appropriately inviting.

Theater Audience: A handful of happy theater goers.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Drift Range: I did not drift for a nanosecond and neither will you.

Squirm Scale: Some of the war scenes are will make you wince.

Oscar Worthy: Absolutely!

Nit Picking: Not a nit to pick.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen is a MUST! For some other Audrey Tautou films try: Venus Beauty Salon, L' Auberge espagnole, Dirty Pretty Things and Amelie.

Length: Two hours and ten minutes.