Delicacy (La délicatesse)

01 Feb

Nathalie (played by Audrey Tautou) and François (by Pio Marmaï) meet at the same café every year on the anniversary of the day they met – they savour the delicious memory. Their’s is a beautiful, trusting and happy relationship. When they marry, both Nathalie’s parents (by Ariane Ascaride and Christophe Malavoy) are overjoyed and can’t wait for the grandchildren to arrive. They settle into married life until François has a tragic accident and Nathalie’s world turns upside down. She’s thrown into deep despair and is barely able to function. After a time, she returns to work and is glad that her boss, Charles (by Bruno Todeschini), will support her with lots of work to keep her occupied as she recovers. With her life in tatters, her best friend Sophie (by Joséphine de Meaux) has no clue how to help her and Nathalie’s behaviour becomes erratic. One day at work she has a random encounter with fellow worker, Markus (by François Damiens). Although her behaviour is beyond her control – and often her consciousness – she forms an unlikely friendship with the awkward and hapless Markus and she begins to emerge from her darkness. Charles, hopelessly in love with Nathalie, is outraged at their friendship and Natalie’s assistant, Chloe (by Mélanie Bernier) discovers the best office gossip for a long time. This situation can’t possibly end well … can it?

This is one of those movies that is billed as a comedy, but there isn’t much that’s funny in it. I guess some plot lines could be amusing to some viewers – a woman’s journey through tragedy and grief that produces some erratic behaviour; the despicable behaviour of Nathalie’s boss who is infatuated with her to the complete disregard of all other people; the awkward Markus and his confusion mixed with delight at the thought of making a personal connection with Nathalie. These are lovely storylines, but not really all that funny. Having said that, this movie this is easy to watch. As Nathalie, Audrey Tautou is as she always is, like a porcelain doll – so delicate, beautiful, unconsciously classy and flawlessly styled. François Damiens’ portrayal of Markus is a perfect balance – he is huge, awkward, scruffy and desperately average. Compare him to the behaviour of their boss Charles – he is totally French – egotistical, pretentious and arrogant. The friendship that develops between Nathalie and Markus is nice and it becomes beautiful towards the end when they pay a visit to Nathalie’s grandmother, Madeleine (by Monique Chaumette) – she’s just lovely. I guess some may find this funny. For his work here as Markus, François Damiens won the Prix Aquitaine Prix d’interprétation masculine at the 2011 Sarlat International Cinema Festival.  This is based on David Foenkinos’ best selling novel “La délicatesse”.

Made in 2011.  Directed by David Foenkinos and Stephane Foenkinos

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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in Movies


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