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World Wide Webbing: Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Micmacs”

World Wide Webbing: Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "Micmacs"

The last time we heard from Jean-Pierre Jeunet—the only person realistically competing with Luc Besson for title of France’s Most Popular Director—was 2004, when A Very Long Engagement followed his Amélie with an unflatteringly dour Audrey Tautou and an awkward blend of glossy WWI combat horror and search-for-a-lost-beloved romance. Engagement was no box office or critical bomb, but with it Jeunet’s limitations were made clear—for all his visual extravagance, “serious” and “epic” are two modes he just can’t pull off. And so he’s returned to his roots with the magical realist band-of-underdogs yarn Micmacs, reveling in a nearly (more on this qualification later) hermetically sealed fantasy world and constructing a narrative based exclusively on Rube Goldberg–esque set pieces performed by lovable and/or grotesque eccentrics. Read Michael Joshua Rowin’s review of Micmacs.

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