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Release Date(s)2009 (December 14, 2010)
Studio(s)Sony Pictures Classics
The films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet occupy a unique place in the cinematic landscape. They are dreamily romantic, unapologetically quirky, and frequently dark around the edges while remaining sweet and innocent at heart. His movies leave you giddy with the sheer amount of imaginative detail packed into each frame.
Micmacs finds Jeunet operating back in Delicatessen territory with an exhilarating and hilarious fantasy about a “family” of misfits and oddballs looking for a little payback from a pair of monolithic weapons manufacturers.
Dany Boon stars as a video store clerk left homeless and jobless after surviving a freak shooting accident that leaves him with a bullet lodged in his brain. He’s adopted by a group of scrap metal scavengers and discovers the company that manufactured his bullet. As it happens, they’re right across the street from the outfit that made the land mine that killed his father thirty years earlier. The odd little group pools their talents to hatch an elaborate scheme to bring down the weapons manufacturers. Yeah, there’s a little bit of a political undercurrent to all this but it’s no more controversial than, “Illegal arms trading is a bad thing.”
Micmacs is overflowing with references and homages to the films Jeunet grew up with, everything from Sergio Leone to Tex Avery, but they’re all filtered through Jeunet’s unique prism, so they never feel gratuitous or tacked on. Even a moment that nods back to Jeunet’s own Delicatessen simply brings a warm smile of recognition to your face. In fact, it’s virtually impossible to watch Micmacs without grinning from ear to ear. The movie is an absolute delight that flows seamlessly from one wildly inventive highlight to the next. And while it seems as if it would be a maddeningly complex challenge to construct, Jeunet makes it all look effortless. This is a master working at the height of his powers and it’s a sheer pleasure to watch it all come together.
Sony’s Blu-ray is a pleasure all its own with an absolutely stunning image and a warm, immersive 5.1 DTS-HD French language audio track. This disc is a technical stunner in all respects. The extras are surprisingly strong, including a lively audio commentary by Jeunet (in English), a terrific making-of featurette running just over 45 minutes, a funny and informative Q&A session with Jeunet and actress Julie Ferrier from the Tribeca Film Festival, a quick look at the process of making the animated Absurd Deaths, and the theatrical trailer.
The disc may not be advertised as a special edition but it’s a lot better than some that are. Micmacs is a real gift of a movie, one that will be treasured and discovered for many years to come.
- Dr. Adam Jahnke