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Micmacs à Tire-Larigot

AKA Micmacs

Director:
Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Writers:
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Guillaume Laurant

Cast:
Dany Boon – Bazil
André Dussollier – Nicolas Thibault de Fenouillet
Nicolas Marié – François Marconi
Jean-Pierre Marielle – Placard (Slammer)
Yolande Moreau – Tambouille (Mama Chow)
Julie Ferrier – La Môme Caoutchouc (Elastic Girl)
Omar Sy – Remington
Dominique Pinon – Fracasse (Buster)
Michel Crémadès – Petit Pierre
Marie-Julie Baup – Calculette

Country:
France

Language:
French

Release Dates:
France: 28 October 2009
Netherlands: 17 December 2009
UK: 18 February 2010
Ireland: 26 February 2010
Canada: 28 May 2010
USA: 28 May 2010
Finland: 13 August 2010
Norway: 27 August 2010
Sweden: 27 August 2010
Denmark: 9 September 2010

Awards:
2010 César Awards (France) – Best Costume Design: Madeline Fontaine (Nominated); Best Production Design: Aline Bonetto (Nominated); Best Sound: Jean UmanskyGérard HardyVincent Arnardi (Nominated)

2011 Motion Picture Sound Editors (USA) – Best Sound Editing – Foreign Feature: Jean-Pierre LelongNicolas BeckerMarilena CavolaGérard HardyJean UmanskyVincent ArnardiSelim AzzaziAlain LévyJulien Perez

Ratings:
France: U
USA: R
Australia: M
Finland: K-13
Ireland: 15A
Netherlands: 12
Sweden: 11
UK: 12A
IMDb: 7.2/10
Metacritic: 62/100
Netflix: 3.8/5
Rotten Tomatoes: 74% (Fresh)

Bazil and the Seven Micmacsters – L-R: Petit Pierre, Elastic Girl, Bazil, Buster, Remington, Mama Chow, Calculette, Slammer

Micmacs is another brilliant movie from French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the director of Delicatessen, Amélie, and the deeply flawed but still great Alien 4. To echo what JPJ says on the DVD commentary, “I love zeez guy.” JPJ’s movies (that’s what I call him, JPJ, I roll like that) are known for striking, inventive visuals and quirky characters. They usually have a certain level of black comedy too, and Micmacs starts out pretty grim.

In 1979,  a soldier is killed by a landmine in Afghanistan. Thirty years later, his son Bazil (Dany Boon) is hit in the head by a stray bullet. I know, right? Stay with me. After he gets out of the hospital, Bazil is unemployed, homeless, and has a bullet in his brain. Fortunately, Bazil is taken in by a group of quirky (of course) junk salvagers.

One day while out on a salvage run, Bazil finds himself in front of La vigilante de l’armement, the weapons manufacturer that made the landmine that killed his father. He then turns around and sees that the building across the street is Les arsenaux d’Aubervilliers, the company that made the bullet that is still lodged in his head. Of course these two companies are bitter rivals and their CEOs hate each other, and Bazil hatches a plan of vengeance: With the help of his newfound friends, he will pit the two men against each other, thus destroying both of them.

Micmacs à tirelarigot translates to “non-stop shenanigans,” which is a pretty good description of what the movie is about. The scheme unfolds like a Rube Goldberg mechanism, and all the members of Bazil’s gang play a part, including a daredevil, a human calculator, and a contortionist.

Just about every time I watch a movie I fall in love with an actress – or at least the character she plays. This time it is Elastic Girl, played by the off the charts amazing Julie Ferrier. She pretty much falls for Bazil right away, but he seems not to notice. It made me want to yell at the screen, “Baze, dude, four words: Contortionist!”

Of course, being in a French movie, he wouldn’t have understood me.

Le sigh.

A car crashes into a billboard for the movie it’s in.

There are a lot of inspired set pieces as well as funny quick moments, like a security camera doing a double take. For the observant viewers, they put in five posters for the movie within the movie itself, you can see one of them in the above picture. The movie is in French with English subtitles, so that’s good and it translates very well. There is a weak and unfunny gay joke, which even JPJ seems to regret in his commentary track, so that’s unfortunate.

The Misplaced Boy MST3K Scale:

I dunno, maybe quirky French cinema is an acquired taste, but I love JPJ’s stuff. I’m giving Micmacs a…

Mike

Random Quote Whore Quote:

Micmacs is an unhurried, louvred, imagism of a movie! Dany Boon is anticonvention!!!

By the way, the two weapons manufacturers depicted in the film are, of course, fictional. According to Human Rights Watch the company that has profited the most from manufacturing landmines is Alliant Techsystems Inc. By many accounts they are also among the largest manufacturers of ammunition. And they’re publicly traded, so we can all get in on the bloody fun.

7 thoughts on “Random Movie Review – Micmacs à Tire-Larigot

  1. This one sounds perhaps fun with all the “shenanigins” “contourtions” LOL
    yes and interesting also 😀

    smiles,
    Rx

  2. Nice review. I think this is a weird film because it shouldn’t be great, the story is fairly stretched and it’s all too light and fluffy, but it’s just so cute, sweet and adorable to give in to trouble.

    Didn’t realise it was from the Alien 4 director though!!!

    • Yeah, it’s a fantasy. You’re definitely meant to enjoy the ride and not think too much about the plot holes.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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