Netflix nugget: Micmacs


Dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Starring: Daniel Boone, André Dussollier and Nicolas Marié

After attending a wedding last long weekend, I found myself to be the proud owner of a new bottle of absinthe. I also had a review to write for the Carillon. Suddenly, it struck me like a stray bullet: I have a bottle of a European hallucinogen and a copy of the French movie Micmacs.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what I did next.

Bazil, played by Daniel Boone, hates weapons manufacturers. As a child, Bazil's father was blown up by a landmine, and as an adult Bazil is shot in the head. When he gets out of the hospital, Bazil finds himself homeless, jobless, and suffering some odd side effects courtesy of the slug lodged in his brain box. Bazil is adopted by a family of misfits that live in the junkyard, repurposing electronics. These misfits think highly of Bazil's righteous agenda, and agree to help him take down the two weapons manufacturers that have done him so wrong. 

Rest assured, hilarity ensues.

The truly great moments of revenge fantasy films like Micmacs are never provided when the protagonist finally succeeds and rides off into the sunset. The great moments of revenge fantasies are provided by the extremes their protagonists go to in order to realize their vendettas. Micmacs doesn’t disappoint. Its larger-than-life characters live in an outlandish, often-cartoonish world wherein the solution to most problems involves MacGyvering a piece of civic infrastructure. Yet, despite its absurdity, Micmacs often manages to be a serious film about the dirty politics of the arms business. 

I will not attempt to conceal my enthusiasm: I adored Micmacs. It is brilliantly edited, incredibly well-cast, has an outstanding orchestral score, and manages to simultaneously entertain and inform. My hat goes off to director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and crew for such an awesome film, and it stays off while I try to sleep off this absinthe.

Kyle Leitch

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