The Very Long Engagement


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amélie was a cute little bonbon of a film which proved so miraculously accessible and digestible in Anglophone markets that it was almost as if it wasn't in French at all. Now Jeunet has directed what from certain angles looks like the same film, but co-produced by Americans and even boasting an American actor, Jodie Foster. It has a grownup theme: the horrors of the first world war, but baked in the nougat of Jeunet's unmistakable style.
Audrey Tautou is back, looking like the Puss in Boots character in Shrek 2, doing that wide-eyed gaze to the camera. She is the sweetly sexy young innocent with the funky left-field disability: a lame leg from polio. Her fiancé was one of five men at the front condemned to death by court-martial for giving themselves what the Tommies called a "Blighty wound", but instead sent over the top to probable death by a sergeant jaded by this hateful war and unwilling to convene a firing squad. Using a tin box full of letters and clues from all five, Audrey makes it her postwar mission to track down her boy, and in the process releases an anthology of hyperreal stories, floating whimsically free from the nightmare of Verdun and the Somme. Is her fiancé still alive? Will there be a happy ending? The title is a bit of a clue.
The similarities in style and substance to Amélie are too numerous to recount, though the wackiness, the quick-fire editing and the face-reflected-in-a-spoon closeups seem to be gradually withdrawn as the story proceeds - or perhaps you simply get acclimatised to them. There are some impressive setpieces but everything is essentially sweet and non-threatening: even the bleak, rain-drenched trenches with their gore are rendered picturesque. The plot recalls Kubrick's Paths of Glory, but its sentimentality and weird weightlessness make it more like a Gallic Forrest Gump.


accessible- przystępny
angle- kąt
bleak- ponury, posępny
boast- przechwalać się
bonbon- cukierek
condemn to- skazać na
convene- zwoływać; powoływać przed sąd
court-martial- sąd wojenny
cute- śliczny
digestible- strawny
disability- ułomność, kalectwo
essentially- zasadniczo, w pierwszym rzędzie
firing squad- pluton egzekucyjny
float- pływać, szybować
gaze- wzrok, spojrzenie
gore- rozlana krew
gradually- stopniowo
impressive- robiący wrażenie
jaded- zmęczony, znużony
lame- kulawy, chromy
miraculously- cudownie
picturesque- malowniczy
Puss in Boots- Kot w Butach
rain-drenched- przemoczony przez deszcz
recount- relacjonować, powtórnie przeliczać
release- oswobodzić, uwalniać
render- czynić, sprawiać
sergeant- sierżant
setpiece- charakterystyczna część utworu
track down- wytropić, wyśledzić
trenches- okopy
unmistakable- nie do pomylenia
wackiness- dziwaczność, ekscentryczność
whimsically- kapryśnie
wide-eyed- z wytrzeszczonymi oczyma; niedoświadczony
withdraw - wycofywać się

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