Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mood Indigo

I skipped this when it was closing IFFBoston - there was going to be baseball until there wasn't - and I can't remember whether that was going to be the full 135-minute version or not. The listing showed one that was roughly 121 minutes, so I was actually rather surprised to get out of a 7:20pm movie with ten minutes or so of previews at 9:08. As you might expect, these different cuts and lengths leave me very curious as to how much of my impatience and feeling of twee overload came from an edit that made sure to keep every bit of Michel Gondry style in but gutted what might have actually held the movie together.

Not much more to say, because, honestly, it's no fun disliking this sort of movie, which does so much to try and entertain but falls short.

L'écume des jours (Mood Indigo)

* * (out of four)
Seen 14 August 2014 in Landmark Kendall Square #9 (first-run, DCP)

I haven't seen every movie that Michel Gondry has made, but I'm reasonably confident that, barring some truly bizarre experimental shorts made early in his career, this is the Michel-Gondriest. While there are definite upsides to that, it also means that the film can be exhausting if you don't absolutely love it, and that's where I landed, fidgety and impatient by the end despite the American cut of the movie being a good half-hour shorter than I thought.

It follows Colin (Romain Duris) and Chloe (Audrey Tautou), who meet at a party and fall in love, to eventually get married, although events on the honeymoon set the stage for less happy times. Anther couple of lesser note is Nicolas (Omar Sy), said to be Colin's lawyer and adviser but mostly seen doing the work of a servant, and Isis (Charlotte Le Bon), who threw the party where the first two met; there's also Chick (Gad Elmaleh), Colin's best friend and devotee of author Jean-So Partre (Philippe Torreton), and Alise (Aïssa Maïga), Nicholas's niece.

To say that Colin and Chloe meet at this party makes it sound like something much more exciting than it is. They are pointed at each other by Nicolas and Chloe and just sort of fall in together. There are cute moments and whimsy to the set-up, but it's emblematic of the rest of the movie that Colin and Chloe don't actually do anything. Nobody does much throughout the entire movie except Nicolas, who does so many types of things with so little apparent effort that it barely registers beyond a running joke. People will declare their love and devotion quite earnestly in exchanges that the audience has heard many times before, but they seldom show it in an individual way or even have personality traits that can be seen to connect with each other.

Full review at EFC

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