Feature

Micmacs

Amélie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet returns to slapstick surrealism with a film about a scrappy crew of misfits who try to take out a pair weapons dealers.

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
(R)

***

Amélie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet is “back doing what he likes best,” said Lisa Schwarzbaum in Entertainment Weekly. After trying his hand at period drama, with 2004’s A Very Long Engagement, the French director returns to the slapstick surrealism of Delicatessen and his earlier films. Micmacs stars comedian Dany Boon as a lost soul who, with the help of resourceful junk collectors, tries to take down a pair of Paris arms sellers. Jeunet moves the “eccentric characters around a board in a miniature game of fate and chance.” It’s a “robust, enjoyable lunatic game,” said Tasha Robinson in The A.V. Club. Taking inspiration from everything from Toy Story to Once Upon a Time in the West, Jeunet creates a frivolous farce about the world arms trade. “It’s social commentary by way of a good Looney Tune.” The film’s message is that “improvisation, impish craftiness, and have-not solidarity can triumph over greed and cruelty,” said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Yet, as much as it is a morality play, Micmacs at times “roams and rambles and sometimes stalls,” getting caught up in its own cleverness.

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