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4.1 out of 5 stars
Delicacy [Blu-ray]
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
The infectious Audrey Tautou takes center stage in this charming French confection about love in its various configurations. Ever since "Amelie," I've been enchanted with Tautou. She is so likable and natural with an intriguing ease on screen. It's almost impossible not to relate to her in some manner, and I think this appeal can sometimes overshadow her talent. And she is a true talent, she just makes it look simple. She goes through a strong character arc in "Delicacy" and is absolutely terrific. From contentment, to loss and withdrawal, to romantic rebirth--Tautou experiences much in this film filled with both melancholy and hope. Billed as a whimsical romantic comedy, I wouldn't discount this movie as merely frothy entertainment (although it surely is). There is a truth and poignancy at the heart of "Delicacy" that really resonates. This isn't pure fantasy. There are real life situations, genuine heart, and a surprising depth beneath the sweet exterior. And I, for one, appreciated that the movie felt true to life without sacrificing its charm.

As the movie opens, Tautou seems to be a woman who has it all. But this idyllic existence is short lived as a tragic accident scrambles her contented life. Picking up three years later, Tautou has thrown herself into her career. Although well liked, she appears to have dismissed all notions of finding romance. In fact, she isn't looking for it in any way, shape, or form. Fending off unwanted advances and becoming the fodder for office speculation, one day she breaks routine with a defiant and almost unconscious act. She impetuously kisses a subordinate (Francois Damiens) and proceeds as if nothing has happened. But Damiens is besotted and this unremarkable (and relatively meaningless) moment might just have long range repercussions. The two are an unlikely match, but they begin a casual friendship that is very winning. Can you find love when you're not looking for it? Or is there any other way? The biggest obstacle, in this case, is the resistant Tautou. But maybe everything happens for a reason.

Tautou, as I've said, is really great here but she is matched by Damiens (traditionally known for more broad comedy). While I was amused throughout, I was also completely invested in both of the characters. I'm not particularly sentimental, but this simple story felt remarkably believable. An easy recommendation for fans of French romance, I think this is a film experience with pretty universal appeal. Its goals are relatively modest, but it certainly achieves what it sets out to do. About 4 1/2 stars. The North American release has Bonus features that include a making-of featurette as well as an exclusive interview with the luminous Tautou. KGHarris, 9/12.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon January 25, 2013
Format: DVD
Delicacy is a charming romantic movie. Audrey Tautou is beautiful as an intelligent confident woman.

Delicacy opens with a young man sitting in a cafe in Paris. A beautiful woman walks in and we hear the voice over narration of his thoughts. He wants to talk to her, but no he shouldn't. He day dreams about what she will order. Some might say in typical French style, he debates with himself over what she will order. He decides, if she orders this, he will talk to her. It turns out to be a very romantic magic moment in the film.

This film deserves to be watched without knowing much more of the plot. There are some wonderful and some not so wonderful surprises along the way. All are worth discovering without spoilers. I will try not to spoil any of those moments.

The title is a bit deceptive; it is not about food or some rare food. Instead it is about treating people in a kind delicate manner, with love and affection. The scenes in Paris are gorgeous. This is not tourist land Paris (well there are a few scenes with the Eifel Tour in the background), but more the places where people work and live. The scenes in the country are equally beautiful. The country scenes were shot North West of Paris, just in the country outside of suburbia, near Cergy at Montgeroult - Courcelles, Montgeroult, France.

Audrey Tautou's (Amelie) movie roles up to this point have been a bit on the quirky crazy side. In this film, she leaves all that behind and is a very normal intelligent woman, Nathalie. I like her in this film the best. Francois, played by Pio Marmai, is handsome, care free, and the perfect leading man. The other romantic interest, Markus, played by Francois Damiens, is the most unlikely person ever to be paired with Nathalie. Bruno Todeshini does an excellent job as the creepy inappropriate boss, Charles. The supporting cast is strong, especially Nathalie's friends and relatives.

The real stars of this film are behind the scenes, the Foenkinos brothers, David and Stephane. David wrote the novel this film is based on, and then turned around and wrote the screenplay. He is also credited with codirecting the film with his brother. It is remarkable that anybody this close to the story could have made such a wonderful film. The camera work, the pacing, the lighting, and the sound, were outstanding.

The film is almost two hours long (108 minutes). There were a few moments where the editing could have been a bit tighter, maybe 10 minutes less would have been better.

The soundtrack is beautiful. Most of the songs were written and performed by Emilie Simon. Simon has a quirky strange voice that is a nice contrast to the film. The samples here are well worth a listen, Franky Knight.

The film is rated PG-13. There is no nudity. There is a little bit of strong language in the subtitles. There are a few bedroom scenes, but it isn't clear that anybody is making love. Overall, this is an honest PG-13 film that 13 year olds could easily watch; the directors did not push the rating envelope. The film is presented in French with English subtitles.

The DVD includes two featurettes, an interview with Audrey Tautou, and a making of. The French seem to know exactly how to make these bonus features. They manage to extend the film, develop a deeper understanding of what happened and why. After watching the film, I enjoyed both shorts.

The film is about relationships, and finding love. It is also about details and a man paying close attention to the woman he loves then doing those small things that are ultimately incredibly easy to do but mean so much. It is the small gesture.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This French delicacy proves you don't need an enormous budget to craft a movie that is beautiful, clever and magical. I thoroughly enjoyed this from start to picture-perfect finish. While tragedy strikes early on, as the story develops you begin to feel that if you can live in the present (at least some of the time) and stay true to your ideals and your heart, life will continue to surprise and delight! Audrey Tautou once again shows she's way more than just a pretty face - her emotions are raw and her persona relatable. I love that the film eschewed romcom conventions and celebrated the wisdom of appreciating goodness in others beyond a fancy façade. Francois Damiens is a revelation. Even when flying below the radar, his comical presence elevates every scene he's in. As the shy Swedish dumpling, it's impossible not to fall in love with him. In real life, seemingly opposite types attract now and again. Just as Markus could be spellbound by Nathalie, I found it as believable that she would be floored by his humility and humour and his overall dorky ways. If more people took their approach to relationships, it'd be a much happier world. I found the characterization of office life hilarious - and realistic in that workplace relations can be fraught with all kinds of drama and must be navigated delicately. The musical selections are the perfect accompaniment to this tale of rediscovering your joie de vivre after a great loss. So many subtly funny moments. Hooray for the underdogs. Hooray for storytelling that doesn't overcompensate with commercial gimmicks. This is a one-of-a-kind film that re-affirms your appreciation for both the brevity of life and seizing the golden opportunities - no matter what anybody else thinks - while you can.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
What a tasteful love story. The way that her late husband is woven into the end of the movie is creative and sophisticated. It makes perfect sense that the observant and intelligent "Nathalie" would fall for the very adorable "Markus"! It is totally fascinating how these two characters were so believable. All of the hype and superficiality about attractiveness goes right out the window and I, for one, am glad to see it go!!!! Bravo!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
This film has so many facets- it is not your average rom com or your average Audrey Tautou film. This movie is uplifting, sad, happy, witty, brilliant, awkward, and lovely. A few scenes will require a tissue box handy, such as when Tautou's character goes dancing at a club with her friend (I know it sounds odd). This movie brings you down to the level of a grief-stricken person and takes you along her journey to recovery, to laughter, and to love. Enjoy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2013
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Audrey Tautou is The Lady. This may be her best. Francois Damiens almost steals this one. French film embarrasses Hollywood.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
"I could go on holiday in your hair," moons a love struck Swede named Markus (Francois Damiens) to his co-worker, a beautiful French widow named Nathalie. If that sounds like an inappropriate comment to make at the office (to your boss, no less), you're right. Then again, it's not every day that your boss (bearing a remarkable likeness to Audrey Tautou) calls you into her office, springs from her chair without warning, plants a lingering, passionate smooch, then goes back to her desk as if nothing just happened. It's an anomaly that a slovenly nebbish like Markus is going to require a few days to process.

Whether or not you believe that a beautiful young widow who bears a remarkable likeness to Audrey Tautou would even consider throwing herself at a slovenly nebbish who bears a remarkable likeness to a French Chris Elliot is probably a good litmus test for whether or not you will be willing to sit through a romantic dramedy called "Delicacy", directed by siblings David and Stephane Foenkinos (adapted from David's novel). In an opening montage that vibes the films of Eric Rohmer, we get a recap of Nathalie's relationship with her late husband, the suavely continental Francois (Pio Marmai), from their initial Meet Cute at a quaint café, to his untimely demise while out for a jog one fateful morning. The heartbroken Nathalie deals with her pain by becoming a workaholic.

And so it is that Nathalie registers just as much shock at her impulsive amorous advance on her own underling, as does Markus himself (who leaves her office dazed and confused). When he later screws up the courage to ask her if she truly wants to go down this road, Nathalie tries to backpedal. She doesn't know what possessed her. Her mind was elsewhere, etc. etc. "You sound like an American. That's a bad sign," Markus deadpans, in the film's funniest line. This gets a chuckle out of Nathalie, breaking the ice.

Will this odd couple find true love? You'll have to watch to find out. You will have to be willing to suspend your disbelief, of course. Your willingness to go along with this fluffy but diverting affair also hinges on which camp you happen to be in regarding Ms. Tautou's saucer-eyed, Gallic pixie allure (which some are apparently immune to). There is some unevenness in tone, particularly stemming from an over-reliance on the gimmick of "listening in" to each character's Deep Thoughts (which aim for poetic heights but tend to crash-land just this side of a Hallmark greeting card), but it's not enough to sink the proceedings. The film is saved by Tautou and Damiens' onscreen chemistry; they both bring an endearing charm to their roles. Damiens imbues his shambling ugly duckling with a gentle humanity that helps us grok what Nathalie finds so appealing. Think of this film as a soufflé, which, depending on what you bring to the table, can be an entree or a dessert. If you're the type who could bypass the entree and go straight to dessert, I think you will enjoy. Those without a sweet tooth will probably want to skip it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
I highly recommend this film. Audrey Tautou is, as always, amazing. It's really a grand story of finding true love again once you think it's gone forever and a tale of opposites attracted to one another. Though the opposites are actually her first love compared to her second one. No one can believe she can go from a guy that looks like a french model to her coworker. But her boss, who has a crush on her, completely gets it. The new guy isn't beautiful but he's smart, funny, romantically poetic and kind. Everything a woman wants in a man. Loved it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
Audrey Tautou is a very good actress. She is beautiful, sexy and real. After the love of her life was killed in a car accident she goes into a shell and proceeded to concentrate on work only. Suddenly for no apparent reason a man comes into her life, not handsome, not sexy, nothing like her former, and she kisses him. She didn't even remember it afterwards. But this caused a chain of events that had to run it own course. As he ascends to the role of being her lover, he has to do battle with his demons as well as those who can't understand why she is choosing to be with him. He himself can't believe it, but rather than deny the obvious he decides to allow the chain of events to run their course.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
What a sweet film. It's a subtle friendship and romance. Nathalie (Audrey Tautou) is married to a dreamboat Francois (Pio Marmai). They are well-suited, young and in love, and life is blossoming for them. The unbelievable happens, and Nathalie finds herself a widow. Work keeps her sane and alone, until one day when a co-worker Markus enters her office, and Nathalie does something irrational.

What now? Everyone can see that Markus (Francois Damiens) is clearly wrong for her and not like Francois on the surface. Except that he discerns Nathalie's virtue and compassion. But he's a bit gawky, not as handsome as Francois, and he's an underling perhaps lacking ambition.

It has been three years since Francois' death, but can Nathalie love another? This movie feels authentic. Tautou is captivating and Damiens makes you grin every time you see him. You care about this couple and want them to find a little happiness in this not always kind world.

I love to watch French films to improve my French, plus seeing the French background. This move is a delight, although low-key and subtle. It doesn't have quite the exuberance of AMELIE, one of my favorite movies of all time. But it has a quiet charm. 4.5 stars.
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