Oh, mon Dieu, encore Tautou
12A cert, limited release, 110 min AUDREY TAUTOU is rapidly evolving into a menace of significant proportions. Those unnecessarily huge eyes – a gecko surprised by its own absurdly heightened Frenchness – always seem to be peering at you from the other end of the zinc bar. Somebody, somewhere is convinced that we still find this creature charming and quirky. She’s a decent actor. She almost never bumps into the scenery. But that hyper-gamine act is fast becoming very tedious.
Her latest project is one of those light romances that too easily gets mistaken for a comedy. Based on some book by David Foenkinos – I’m betting it has a hazy cover depicting a glass of wine resting on a wicker table – Delicacy finds Ms Tautou playing a successful businesswoman prematurely propelled into widowhood.
We begin with her encountering the ideal man. If you haven’t seen a film before you may presume that François (Pio Marmai) and Nathalie (Tautou) are heading into a lifetime of happiness. Then the poor chap dies in a jogging mishap and Nathalie turns to work for comfort.
It’s never entirely clear what she does for a living, but the company does have a lot of Swedes about the place. Before too long (though long enough, frankly) our hero has inexplicably snuggled up to the most homely of the circling Scandinavians (Francois Damiens). Her friends disapprove. But Nathalie gradually finds herself returning to the real world and securing another chance at happiness.
Directed by Mr Foenkinos with the help of his brother, Stephane, the picture has the tight structure and irresistible momentum of a self-help book. The actors punch the lines with pantomime deliberation. The director finds appropriate colours to reflect the changing moods of his irrepressible gamine.
In short, Delicacy does pretty much what it promises. This is the type of film that – just to clarify we’re watching an unthreatening French project – features an image of the Eiffel Tower on its poster.
It won’t scare the chickens. It won’t tax the brain. It won’t scratch any tissue on its way down your gullet. It’s another Audrey Tautou film. YOU’VE GOT to feel for Taylor Kitsch. The star of John Carter and now Battlesh*t went into 2012 looking like the Next Big Thing. By next week he’ll be looking for a lift home to Canada. Poor fellow. All that triceps work for nowt. For those lucky enough to have avoided the trailers, posters and general concept, Battleship is everything one could expect from a movie that proudly trumpets its association with Hasbro. And yes, there really is a sequence wherein sailors call out E7, E8, etc, etc.
In keeping with Hasbro’s previous big-screen outings, Battleship really, really wants to be Transformers. Except it’s not. Transformers features some pretty badass robots. Battleship features aliens that – no fooling – look exactly like Will Ferrell’s character from Zoolander but in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers gear. They have awesome weapons that they can’t seem to remember how to work.
Liam Neeson wisely disappears early in the film. Mr Kitsch, Admiral Neeson’s prospective son-in-law and a naval troublemaker, learns humility shortly after his brother cries out: “Who do I call to teach you humility?” Similarly, a former soldier finds the will to fight shortly after he says, “I lost my fight when I lost my legs.”
“My dad always said they’d come,” nods hit-parade princess turned munitions-wizard Rihanna. You might have said something before Peter Berg went to a whopping two hours-plus running time, missy. Sinking vessel ahoy.
Audrey Tautou: absurdly heightened Frenchness