Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet,
2009/France, R, 105 min.
My movie buddy and I would never qualify as connoisseurs of fine French film. We don’t know what “Micmacs” means. In fact, the only French word we know is “avec” which precedes all the names in the cast of characters. But we know enough about French films to buy tickets to see anything that’s avec a guy named Dominique Pinon. This rubber faced character actor has appeared in some of the most memorable films we’ve seen in any language, including “Amelie,” “The City of Lost Children,” and my big favorite “Delicatessen.” No matter what else is presented in the trailer, we always recognize Monsieur Pinon and buy tickets for his movies.
Thanks to the Internet, I’ve learned that the director of these wonderful films is named Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and that he also made one of my favorite movies in English, “A Very Long Engagement” with Audrey Tautou, whom he made more than famous in “Amelie.”
“Micmacs,” however, isn’t the best of the line, but it’s still full of amazing characters doing amazing mind-stretching things on film. Like all of this guy’s movies, “MicMacs” is just weird. Uncannily weird. Weird in an overwhelmingly charming way. The movie answers the weird question, “What would you do to unscrupulous arms dealers if you had the breadth of imagination and the craziest buddies to carry out your most insane proposals?”
The central character has a grudge against arms dealers that’s maybe a little stronger than everyone else’s. He sees his chance, and puts all his otherworldly elements together to exact revenge. It’s a caper movie, but not like one you’ve ever seen before. If art is something that helps broaden our views, then this is film art. Besides, it’s avec Dominique Pinon!