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19 October 2009updated 27 Sep 2015 4:07am


From the London Film Festival: slapstick par excellence

By Daniel Trilling

dir: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

The full French title of this film, Micmacs à tire-larigot, translates as “non-stop mishmash”, which is very appropriate for Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s directing style. He is a master of visual comedy, as the grotesque slapstick of his 1991 black comedy Delicatessen proved. It’s good to see Jeunet return to this style, after 2001’s more popular but less fun Amélie and his ill-advised foray into Hollywood with Alien: Resurrection (1997). MICMACS follows a gang of outcasts who live in a Paris junkyard, as they try to foil not one but two evil weapons manufacturers. It’s cartoonish in the best sense, makes great visual use of the ex-industrial outskirts of Paris, and stays just on the right side of sentimental.

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