A very excellent film at a very excellent price. (£4.61 next cheapest) If you liked Amelie, you will like this.
This World War I mystery finds limitless beauty in the nostalgia of loss. Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, whose whimsical AMELIE riveted audiences, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT also stars Audrey Tautou the 21st century's Audrey Hepburn in the stubbornly emotional role of a widow in denial. Here she is Mathilde, a waifish young woman with a pronounced limp from childhood polio. Living with her quirky aunt and uncle in a farmhouse by the sea, and waiting desperately for her fiance Manech (Gaspard Ulliel) to return from the war, she believes that if he were truly lost she would feel it in her heart. Thus, when the bad news arrives Manech and five fellow soldiers were exiled to No Man's Land for shooting off their own fingers in hope of being discharged Mathilde refuses to believe he is dead. Instead, she begins her own investigation into Manech's infantry, hiring a private detective and tracking down the wives and girlfriends of each of Manech's compatriots. Conducting countless interviews, Mathilde pieces together Manech's war stories which are told in earthshaking flashbacks involving gruesome explosions, flying guts, and massive suffering. And yet, the all-in-this-together humanity of these awful scenes, and the heartfelt bravery with which Mathilde absorbs the details of each battle, is undeniably moving. Jodie Foster appears as Elodie, one of the widows, in a charismatic yet muted performance and with a flawless accent. However, the most intriguing of the widows is Tina Lombardi (Marion Cotillard), a thrilling dominatrix-assassin bent on avenging her lover. A timeless masterwork that raises the bar for breathtaking camerawork, vivid landscapes, and fantastical storytelling, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT is adapted from the novel by Sebastien Japriscot.