7.6/10
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A Very Long Engagement (2004)

Un long dimanche de fiançailles (original title)
Trailer
2:10 | Trailer
Tells the story of a young woman's relentless search for her fiancé, who has disappeared from the trenches of the Somme during World War One.

Director:

Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Writers:

Sébastien Japrisot (novel), Jean-Pierre Jeunet (story and adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
4,834 ( 244)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Audrey Tautou ... Mathilde
Gaspard Ulliel ... Manech
Dominique Pinon ... Sylvain
Chantal Neuwirth Chantal Neuwirth ... Bénédicte
André Dussollier ... Pierre-Marie Rouvières
Ticky Holgado ... Germain Pire
Marion Cotillard ... Tina Lombardi
Dominique Bettenfeld ... Ange Bassignano
Jodie Foster ... Elodie Gordes
Jean-Pierre Darroussin ... Benjamin Gordes (as Jean Pierre Darroussin)
Clovis Cornillac ... Benoît Notre-Dame
Jean-Pierre Becker Jean-Pierre Becker ... Esperanza (as Jean Pierre Becker)
Denis Lavant ... Six-Soux
Jérôme Kircher ... Bastoche
Albert Dupontel ... Célestin Poux
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Storyline

Five desperate French soldiers during The Battle of the Somme shoot themselves, either by accident or with purpose, in order to be invalided back home. Having been "caught" a court-martial convenes and determines punishment to be banishment to No Man's Land with the objective of having the Germans finish them off. In the process of telling this tale each man's life is briefly explored along with their next of kin as Methilde, fiancée to one of the men, tries to determine the circumstances of her lover's death. This task is not made any easier for her due to a bout with polio as a child. Along the way she discovers the heights and depths of the human soul. Written by Liam McBain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Never let go

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

French | German | Corsican

Release Date:

14 January 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Very Long Engagement See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$56,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$101,749, 28 November 2004

Gross USA:

$6,524,389

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$69,424,389
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A Paris court ruling prevented the movie from receiving State financial aid reserved to French movie production companies because it was produced by a company owned by Warner Bros., hence not a French company. See more »

Goofs

Mathilde was born on January 1, 1900. At least twice in the course of the film we are told that Manech is only 1 year older than her. However, the voiceover at the beginning as Manech is being led through the trench with the other prisoners in January 1917 informs us that Manech is "five months shy of 20," putting his birth date in June of 1897 and making him two and a half years older than Mathilde. On the other hand, he could have lied on his real age in order to be conscripted - the voice-over citing actual records, Manech could have insisted to be sent, and had his age modified on records. See more »

Quotes

Sylvain: [after the mailman rides his bike into the house] Make yourself at home! At Christmas, come down the chimney!
See more »

Connections

References All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

Peer Gynt: Suite Number 1, Opus 46
Composed by Edvard Grieg
See more »

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User Reviews

Pleasant, visually satisfying.
22 November 2004 | by DigitalKarma911See all my reviews

Dazzling, never before have I seen such a visually pleasing picture. Jeunet has mastered the film medium giving 'A Very Long Engagement' a unique and fairy tale like visual style. Though rushed, the fantasy romance that Jeunet paints through flashbacks is inspiring. The graphic World War I trenches, provide an excellent contrast to the simple but charming mystery that Mathilde embarks on through the film.

Although Jeunet relies heavily on Audrey Tautou's performance, it is ultimately his one of a kind visual style that emotionally ties the viewer. This said, the latter portion of 'Long Engagement' feels very rushed and isn't treated to the same elegance that so well defines the first half. There are moments in the film where the visuals far overshadow the emotional intensity intended for the scene. This is perhaps 'Long Engagements' only fault, as it becomes unbalanced. The stylized and even cartoonish artistic direction that Jeunet leans to, although brilliant seems I'll fit for this wartime drama. Even so, 'A Very Long Engagement' comes off genuine and it's mix of fantasy romance and war will let you leave the theater fulfilled.


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