NextFlix: Micmacs!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Micmacs, an exceedingly entertaining French flick, comes courtesy of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the celebrated director of Amelie (also streaming on Netflix). Both films have their share of Jeunet's trademark whimsy, but Micmacs is even zanier, faster-paced and more inventive. The plot is thus: a video store clerk gets hit by a stray bullet as a ludicrous shootout goes down outside of his store. Naturally, he is pretty upset about this. He eventually finds solace when he falls in with a band of misfits. What transpires is an incredible "mission movie," not unlike Ocean's Eleven, where each of the supporting cast's eccentricities plays a critical role in the mission's potential success. The team includes an unusually talented contortionist, a human calculator of sorts, and the world's fastest human cannonball, among others. The sheer quirk of it all is nearly impossible not to love. The comedy here is as physical as it is witty. When was the last time you saw a sincere Chaplin-esque bit in a film? That kind of thing is here in spades and it's a refreshing change of pace to the kind of comedy we're often subjected to in films.

If you love it, there's a couple of other Jeunet offerings on Netflix:
Delicatessen--a fantastical black comedy that is as surreal as it is grotesque.
A Very Long Engagement--a lush wartime romance with often stunning cinematography.

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