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5 live Review: MicMacs

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Mark Kermode | 10:58 UK time, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

5 live's resident movie critic Dr Mark Kermode reviews MicMacs.
Go to Mark on 5 Live for more reviews and film debate.

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  • Comment number 1.

    This film is so bad I left the Glasgow Film Theatre afterwards quite angry. Its trite and its not quirky in a good way its cutesy in the most cringeworthy way imaginable. A real sub-Gilliam-esque style and the message at the end! There hasn't been a more preachy message than this since god smote the Israelites for making the Golden Calf. Patronizing in the extreme.

  • Comment number 2.

    Re-reading that I'm a bit embarrassed about the way I've said that. I hate all those clumsy shorthand phrases like `esque' and `sub', but there they are. Fool that I am.

    Take Two.
    Watching MicMacs made think for a good half an hour that Jean-Pierre Jeunet had made a children's film and I just hadn't picked up on it in the blurb. Then comes the scene with the big-bosomed woman in the basque pressed against the window being taken from behind and I realized it probably wasn't a kids film. That's also the moment I started to feel patronized. The film looks a lot like Amelie in that it has that odd 1930's/1950's set design with the heavy green filters over everything. It worked in Amelie and I know it is an artistic choice but it feels like a casual, lazy choice here. The characters are all quite flat and annoying. The basic idea that this idealized community of homeless scavengers are noble is an old cliche and actually insulting. In the MicMac world no homeless people are crippled by trauma, mental health problems or substance addiction. Arms dealers are all round nasties who celebrate their nastiness openly and you can change the world with nothing more than a youtube account. It felt like a Roald Dahl story. But he wrote for kids and this is meant, I think, for adults. I could be wrong about that. As a kids film its okay. For anyone over eighteen its patronizing over designed fluff. A bit pointless really.

  • Comment number 3.

    It was a strange old film. The polemic on the Arms Traders was almost as fantastical as Tarantino's universe in 'Inglorious Basterds', however seemed less realistic/plausible.

    As much as it hurts me to say this, Jeanet's creativity seems to have run out. Even though MicMacs was fun in place (just imagine spending time with the contortionist....) it struggled to be a cohesive adventure/satire/comedy.

    Delicatessen/City of the Lost Children are truly great films which I will always cherish, so I hope that Jeunet is able to recapture some of that form again one day.

  • Comment number 4.

    I loved it, it's a complete delight. Admittedly it came about 20 minutes after the senseless From Paris With Love, but even so I thought it was quite charming and great fun.

  • Comment number 5.

    I thought it was a delightful piece of cinematography too. Very quirky and inventive and a real treat.

    The fact that I had no idea what I was going to see, other than it was a film by the director of Amilie, perhaps worked in my favour. I can't imagine what the blurb would have said about it, as Micmacs is a visual spectacle that is very hard to sum up in words, and a lack of preconceptions was very handy. It was always going to be a Marmite film too I think, creating rather polarised opinions (having said that, I'm the only person I know who is actually rather ambivalent about Marmite).

    If you haven't seen it, give it a go. You might just be one of the lucky lovers of Micmacs. Also, take a peek at the Micmacs website, it's the essence of the film, in a website.


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