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A Very Long Engagement - 2 Disc Edition [DVD]

Audrey Tautou , Gaspard Ulliel , Andre Dussolllier    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
Price: 8.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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A Very Long Engagement - 2 Disc Edition [DVD] + Priceless [DVD] (2006) + La Vie En Rose [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Audrey Tautou, Gaspard Ulliel, Jean-Pierre Becker, Dominque Bettenfeld, Clovis Cornillac
  • Directors: Andre Dussolllier
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: German, English, Arabic, Norwegian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: German, English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Whv
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Jun 2005
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007URSR6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,146 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

French war drama. As World War One draws to an end, a young French woman's greatest fight is about to begin. Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) has received word that her fiancee Manech (Gaspard Ulliel) is one of five wounded soldiers who have been court-martialed and pushed out into no-man's land between the French and the German armies - and almost certain death. Unwilling to accept that her beloved Manech is lost to her forever, Mathilde embarks on an extraordinary journey to discover the fate of her lover.

Synopsis

in 1919, Mathilde was 19 years old. Two years earlier, her fiance Manech left for the front at the Somme. Like millions of others he was "killed on the field of battle.” It's written in black and white on the official notice. But Mathilde refuses to believe it. If Manech had died, she would know.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very long 1 Mar 2006
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Sure, the name is an open target for dumb jokes. But Sébastien Japrisot's haunting romance "A Very Long Engagement" translates well onto the big screen, with a bit of help from "Amelie" director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and the wonderful Audrey Tautou.
Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) is a pretty young girl who was left crippled by polio, and is being raised by her uncle and aunt. Before World War I, she fell in love with a boy called Manech (Gaspard Ulliel), but he was sent to the war and killed. Three years later, Mathilde gets a mysterious letter with shocking news: Manech was not killed in action, but condemned to death by being sent unarmed to the front lines -- and miraculously, he might still be alive.
Mathilde is determined to find her lover -- dead or alive -- and learn what really happened on that day three years ago. So she puts out ads in the papers, gathers accounts, and hires a detective to follow the cold trail. And slowly the gaps in the stories emerge, giving Mathilde clues to whether Manech died... and where he might be now.
"A Very Long Engagement" (French title: "Un Long Dimanche de Fiançailles") diddles a few details from the novel, but is faithful to it in the ways that matter -- the "MMM" inscriptions, the non-linear storytelling, the horrors of World War I. In some ways, it seems almost impossible to transfer onto film without creating a pretentious mess -- but it wasn't.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet proves that "Amelie" was no fluke, but this time he relies mostly on visual artistry, rather than in magical realism. He also reminds us, by displaying the French countryside along with flashbacks of the front lines, that war is stupid and wasteful. But it's not an obvious, slam-in-your-face reminder. Like the romance, it's delicate and wistful.
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160 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than Amelie goes to War! 21 Feb 2005
Format:DVD
Five soldiers deliberately injure themselves to escape the trenches. All five are sentenced to death - not by firing squad, but by the simple expedient of being driven out into no-man's-land, there to be killed by German fire.
The execution or judicial murder of troops in the First World War is not a theme which has been extensively developed in France. Stanley Kubrick's 1957 film, "Paths of Glory", explored the subject in detail, but was denied a French showing for nearly twenty years! The French response to 1914-18 has too often been to celebrate 'gloire' and extol the stoic virtues of the poilus who fought and were slaughtered at Verdun. National angst at executions has rarely been on the menu.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film, "A Very Long Engagement", makes prominent the responsibility of the French State for the deaths of exhausted, burned out, and scared Frenchmen. It is a central theme. For every man executed at the Front, there were women and families back home, praying for a reprieve, praying for a miracle.
Audrey Tautou plays a symbolic role ... or perhaps a role she has come to symbolise. Even the French media hailed the film as "Amelie goes to War!" Comparisons have refused to go away. Tautou has a childlike quality which the film exploits: her character, Mathilde, refuses to believe that her lover has died - with so many thousands missing, only the truly innocent would search for one lost soldier. But then, every missing man was important to someone. How many people lived out their lives in the hope that a husband or son or father or lover might still be alive, somewhere?
It's a love story, it's a war film, it's a detective roman ... with comedy and tragedy and drama aplenty.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good film, not quite great 23 April 2007
By MarkE
Format:DVD
I bought this when someone recomended it to me after I spoke to them about Amelie, and I'm grateful for the recomendation. Having to watch with one eye on the subtitles and only one on the action made it difficult to follow at times, but it does reward repeated viewings (and I should work on improving my French). The ending is just ambiguous enough not to fall into cliche.

My only complaint, and it's a minor one, is that I felt the somewhat surreal quirkiness that gave Amelie its charm was not always appropriate for the darker subject of this film, hence only four stars.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb DVD which offers superb extras 14 Jun 2005
Format:DVD
As a supplementary to my review of the film, it's only fair to offer a few words on the quality of the video release and, in particular, the extras provided. Picture and audio quality are excellent throughout, the subtitles legible and easy to follow. The film, however, is released in so many countries it can be quite fiddly choosing the right option first time round. But that's a minor quibble.
The extras are superb. Many DVD's offer extras which barely warrant a look. Here, you have extras which you can truly enjoy. Jeunet delivers a commentary on the film which is highly instructive. He introduces the players, the technical staff, and offers a scene by scene explanation of influences, intentions, in-jokes, options he'd considered. It's a fascinating insight into the mind of a cinematographer.
There are also a number of superb little documentaries on the making of the film and the efforts which go into specific scenes and locations. For anyone considering a career in the cinema, or for anyone simply interested in the technical side of it, these are highly entertaining and instructive analyses of how to make a movie - from storyboard to final edit. It's amusing, it's educational, and it is seriously good entertainment in its own right.
This is a first class film, but the DVD extras offer superb value for money - both film and extras are highly polished productions, and you will watch both again and again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars First world war horror
It may be that this film turns into a romance - as the title suggests - but the opening sequences of the horrific reality of trench warfare were so harsh that I gave up watching. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gill Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Jean Pierre Jeunet...
a true creative genius. Beautiful looking movie with a sublime soundtrack from Angelo Badalamenti. There aren't many people around directing films with such inventiveness, passion... Read more
Published 3 months ago by S. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent disc and film
This is a lovely film full of warmth, love and querky humour alongside the carnage of trenches and battlefields of WWI. Audrey Tautou is brilliant as well as gorgeous.
Published 5 months ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely film - really beautiful - quite long but well worth watching
This film is full of great characters, it has a bit of everything. Parts of it are amusing, others heart-warming and others sad. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mauduit
3.0 out of 5 stars A very long film
If you liked 'Amélie' you would be used to a film that had a certain pace, overall. Then think about the really slow bit in the middle with the photo-booths and you wonder... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Geoff KERSHAW
5.0 out of 5 stars A very long engagement. DVD
As a fan of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 'Amelie' and 'Micmacs', I could hardly fail to like this movie. Beautiful to look at, full of well observed performances, it's an absolute gem of... Read more
Published 16 months ago by L. J. Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars French but still good!
Very short wait for "Standard" delivery then a very enjoyable film.
Knew that it would be in French but with English subtitles so no good looking away from it and... Read more
Published 17 months ago by J.Wilkins
3.0 out of 5 stars A sweet lovestory...
A different and very bittersweet lovestory. I will recommend it to any romantic person - but be sure to have a hand to hold. Tears are guaranteed.
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good film.
A story about unconditional love, not restrained by war, distance nor time. A well told story with passion, humour and sharp wit. I enjoyed watching it again after some time. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Andrew L
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD
It was a gift, so I am unsure about how well it works. I expect to hear about it in a few weeks or so.
Published 19 months ago by Ian Burton-Palmer
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