Thursday, March 15, 2012
A Delightful "Delicacy" from France
“Delicacy” a Delightful Bonbon from France
By Skip Sheffield
“Delicacy” is the perfect title for a delicious French bonbon of a romance, starring delectable Audrey Tautou (“Amalie”).
Tautou plays Nathalie, successful Paris business executive madly in love with her husband Francois (Pio Marmai). When Francois dies tragically in a car accident, Nathalie plunges into depression and obsession with work.
Directed by brothers David and Stephane Foenkinos and based on David Foenkinos’ novel.’ “Delicacy” jumps ahead three years with Nathalie still in mourning and disinterested in romance.
Nathalie’s egotistical boss Charles (Bruno Toeschini) thinks he can move in on the attractive young widow so he confidently wines and dines her. There is one problem: he is already married.
Suddenly and impulsively one day in the office, Nathalie plants a big kiss on Markus (French comic star Francois Damiens) a shy co-worker from Sweden. Markus is stunned and confused and Nathalie is a bit embarrassed. Why did she do that? Markus is balding, pudgy and not particularly graceful or attractive. Yet slowly, tentatively they begin a relationship that is bound to lead to romance.
“Delicacy” is a movie for those cockeyed optimists who think anything is possible in love. Tautou has played this role of irresistible gamine before, but she does it so well.
The real achievement is Francois Damiens’ transformation from shy nebbish to virile leading man. “Delicacy’ may be a trifle, but it is oh so tasty.
Nicolas Cage Seeks Vengeance in “Seeking Justice”
The good news about “Seeking Justice” is that it is not the worst film Nicolas Cage has ever made. Cage has toned down his characteristic macho bravado and inserted a vulnerability as Will Gerard, a tweedy New Orleans high school English teacher married to the voluptuous Laura (January Jones).
But one fateful night after a theater rehearsal Laura is accosted, brutally beaten up and raped.
Will is beside himself with rage and sorrow. When a mysterious stranger named Simon (Guy Pearce) appears at the hospital and indicates he can do something about the perpetrator, a serial rapist, Will is intrigued. Unwisely, he is persuaded to have Simon and his shadowy group “take care of” the rapist. All Simon asks is perhaps “a little favor” down the way. What is that favor? Don’t even ask.
Aussie director Roger Donaldson (“The Bank Job”) knows his way around a crime thriller. Guy Pearce utilizes his considerable stage presence to communicate an air of growing menace and foreboding. We just know that Will is getting more than what he bargained for, so we are not surprised when his world begins to deconstruct.
Vengeance films have long been a staple of Hollywood fantasy. For people frustrated buy the legal and penal system, they are a welcome release. I am no fans of such films, but this one is pretty effective. Just don’t take it too seriously.