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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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on April 12, 2014
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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TOP 100 REVIEWERon January 24, 2013
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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on August 27, 2013
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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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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on February 19, 2014
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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on January 8, 2014
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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on May 14, 2016
This movie never overcomes its ambivalence of a serious consequential drama or spoof comedy. It does keep it core of existentialism never straying from remaining in the here and now. The ambivalence is disconcerting and frustratingly distracting. There are long stretches of introspection regarding angst and loss then there is a bump and the parody begins anew. It is almost as if the director decides to laugh at the audience for taking falling in love so seriously; but then the following scenes give a rebirth to the human condition of attraction, delight and imagining the possibilities. There is an unmasking of romance and yet a renewal in its credo of unifying with another human in passionate consumption. As frustrating as it is to get a handle on the thematic pathway, Audrey Tautou as the mid level executive stuck in her dispassionate pursuit of simply getting through life is simply marvelous. The plot, even though the movie is based on a novel, is very close to the Good Girl with Jennifer Anniston playing a woman on the opposite financial spectrum. Anniston did a fantastic job in a very serious movie about low income existence whereas Tautou move through her character's disintegration and reintegration to normalcy with a severely powerful presentation that it is easily forgotten this was Amélie in all her foolish joyances. Her romantic interest in the movie moves between buffoon and hero. The role is too comedic and stereotypical but in the hills and valleys of being enamored such is the goofiness of the human mind; we stumble and bumble until something works. The movie never quite explains the attraction as to not insult the audience intelligence. This is gratifying viewing. It is also almost too fairy tale.
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on September 12, 2015
I liked Audrey Tautou in Amelie and since then I look out for other movies she's done. Somewhat of a departure from the quirky character she played, Tautou tries for a more tragic role. Maybe I missed something in this film but I just didn't see her as all that tragic. Maybe the filmmakers thought that she should walk through life in a trance that is until she kisses one of her co-workers. Perhaps this is an example of the rigid protocol of behavior that French people must endure? No so since her co-workers were also trying to figure out how to behave around her after the death of her husband. In any case, I felt the film missed the mark.
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on May 29, 2015
Again, France wrests the romantic comedy genre from Hollywood accountants in a imaginative take on love and loss with a cast of actors that revolve around the charming Audrey Tautou in "Delicacy." A wonderfully romantic opening captures the depth and feeling of "Nathalie" as she shares her love-glow of engagement with her immediate family and co-workers. What she does when her handsome beau dies off-camera becomes the weight of the comedy. With an exuberant glow of engagement shared by her family and co-workers, her fiancee dies off camera. Her life is upturned and suspended. However, Nathalie battles the office gossip, an obvious swipe at Hollywood films or Ann Landers psychology by bestowing herself upon an awkward Swedish co-worker. In order to raise her spirits she does the same for this ordinary-looking chap with surprising results in her own life. Although this was an unusual step for such a naturally gorgeous creature to take, a career risk for her to abandon other good-looking hopefuls as well, perhaps it was about time to give hope to the underdogs of the real world. Together, they do make a workable couple. But I was let down in the final 10 minutes that resolved this romantic fantasy in a hide-and-seek play, that made me feel I was watching "Roman Holiday" for the 10th time where, instead of Audrey Hepburn going off with Gregory Peck, she chose Eddie Albert instead. The dream sequence could have been handled only by a Bergman. To me, it felt like an almost-complete romance with a patch of another story, leaving the office politics, sexual harassment possibilities dangling.
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