highbrowse.ie
  Twitter Facebook
  Now Showing Coming Soon All Films
Delicacy

Delicacy

Released 13 April 2012
Director(s)

David Foenikos, Stephane Foenikos
Starring


Audrey Tautou, Francois Damiens, Bruno Todeschini, Melanie Bernier
Writer(s) David Foenikos
Producer(s)

Xavier Rigault, Marc-Antoine Robert
Origin France
Running Time 108 minutes
Genre Comedy, romance
Rating 12A
79

Très, très bon.

Moments of impressively scored movement change to scenes of deafening quiet when Nathalie's husband dies. And as idyllic as her initial life seems; full of an almost Barry's tea ad level of contentment, in the aftermath everything plummets into disarray. However, in an act of personal valour far from the everyday she eventually regroups, burying herself in nondescript office employment to mask her unhappiness.

The persona that Tautou cultivated in Amelie isn't shirked off here but instead is granted a depth far away from quirk, with Tautou's inscrutably obsidian eyes gaining a quality as mournful as it is determined. Years pass and with late office hours and an unshakable professional demeanour, Nathalie steps from rung to rung on the business ladder. Now and again moments of misery surprise but she stays steadfastly alone, looking for more meaning than the promiscuous predilections of her suavely interested boss allows.

Charles (Bruno Todeschini) an aging Gallic hunk, who in a moment of male inner monologue reveals that, "tragedy makes her more beautiful" doesn't appear to understand much about Nathalie. In her grief she defies easy categorisation but when in an action akin to breakdown she kisses a tombstone toothed and bumbling Swedish co-worker, a romance begins to blossom. The quiet but poetic Markus (Francois Damiens) thinks their unlikely romance is as if, "Liechtenstein were walking with the USA" and can't quite believe it. What's more neither can Nathalie, nor can her friends. Markus doesn't quite fit the description of Nathalie's other suitors, but is he right for her?

This tale of grief and unlikely romance is all undoubtably French with phrases languorous and romantic spouting from character's lips as often as the Eiffel Tower or some other distinctly identifiable French trope emerges but like Tautou's Amelie like image, Charles' idea of Nathalie, or the film's initial idea of romance, everything gradually changes into something far less dependent on surface ideas and ultimately more sincere.

With a fifteen minute swerve rivalling even the elation turned tragedy of Up, Delicacy is a film at times of almost deafening melancholy that still somehow manages to nurture a beautiful shard of hope.

- Cormac O'Brien