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The Essential Guide to Bristol
13 February 2010
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The ViewBristol Review

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Review byMatthew Turner20/10/2009

Opens Friday 26 February 2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 104 mins

Hugely entertaining, frequently funny and dazzlingly inventive comedy-drama that's a treat for Jeunet fans, thanks to a delightful cast, a superb score and the director's stunningly visual signature style.

What's it all about?
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, MICMACS (MICMACS a Tire-Larigot, original language fans) stars French comedian Dany Boon as Bazil, whose father is killed by a landmine as a young boy. Decades later, Bazil is working in a video shop when a stray bullet lodges itself in his brain; the doctors decide not to operate, but when he leaves hospital he finds himself both homeless and jobless.

While wandering the streets, Bazil falls in with old-timer Slammer (Jean-Pierre Marielle), who introduces him to a makeshift family of scrap-collecting misfits, including human cannonball Buster (Dominique Pinon), maths whizz Calculator (Marie-Julie Baup), homily-spouting Remington (Omar Sy), matronly Mama Chow (Yolande Moreau) and a contortionist with a resistance to cold (Julie Ferrier). One day, Bazil discovers the offices of two rival weapons manufacturers (Andre Dussollier and Nicolas Marie) and, realising that one made the bullet in his brain and the other made the landmine that killed his father, decides to take them both down, with a little help from his new friends.

The Good
MICMACS is virtually brimming over with Jeunet's signature visual style, almost as if over-compensating for the relative disappointments of A Very Long Engagement. As a result, there are several wonderful sight gags, all of which are accompanied by a terrific score that incorporates the work of ‘40s composer Max Steiner (fittingly, since The Big Sleep is playing in the video shop when Bazil gets shot).

The performances are superb; Boon makes a terrific, slightly dopey lead and there's strong work from Jeunet regulars such as Pinon and Moreau. In addition, the script crackles with witty dialogue (some of which gets lost in translation, though you can tell the subtitlers have done their best) and the plot works beautifully as a satire on the arms trade, even if it feels a little thin overall.

The Great
Jeunet's films frequently contain brilliant sequences that would work as short films in their own right and MICMACS is no exception; the aftermath-of-an-explosion scene is a definite comic highlight.

Worth seeing?
MICMACS is a hugely enjoyable, impressively directed and frequently funny comedy-drama that should appeal to both adults and children alike. Highly recommended.

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