DELICACY (100 min) (M)
Directed by David and Stephane Foenkinos. Starring Audrey Tautou, Francois Damiens.
Audrey Tautou, she of the sticky-out ears, the startled doe eyes, and the impossibly slender calves, plays a tough-minded career woman who has just lost the love of her life.
It sounds awkward, and fraught with possibilities to go catastrophically wrong. It is, and it does. We meet Tautou's Nathalie when life seems almost impossibly perfect. Her adorably floppy haired swain has married her, thoughts of children are on their minds, and her ill-defined career is obviously going gang-busters. Then hubby goes out in the traffic, and it all comes crashing down. Fast forward three years, and Nathalie is still the career woman, but the joy has gone from her life. And then, by the hugely unlikely torch of her lumpen Swedish underling, Nathalie's romantic flame is re-ignited, and before you can say Ikea, beds are breaking beneath the industry of their European union. At which point, Delicacy nearly lost me for good.
The films skips far too deftly around the enormity of Nathalie's grief, in its impatience to get to the romantic comedy it bills itself to be. It's a squeamish mix, and nearly indigestible. But, in its final scene, which is as brief and lovely a thing as I've seen in months, Delicacy nearly redeems itself. If you're a Tautou obsessive, you'll enjoy this I guess. But for everyone else, Delicacy is an odd and perplexing hybrid of genres.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Have you read Kiwi author Eleanor Catton's Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Luminaries?Related story: What now for Eleanor Catton?