Delicacy is a charming romantic movie. Audrey Tautou is beautiful as an intelligent confident woman.
Delicacy opens with a young man sitting in a cafe in Paris. A beautiful woman walks in and we hear the voice over narration of his thoughts. He wants to talk to her, but no he shouldn't. He day dreams about what she will order. Some might say in typical French style, he debates with himself over what she will order. He decides, if she orders this, he will talk to her. It turns out to be a very romantic magic moment in the film.
This film deserves to be watched without knowing much more of the plot. There are some wonderful and some not so wonderful surprises along the way. All are worth discovering without spoilers. I will try not to spoil any of those moments.
The title is a bit deceptive; it is not about food or some rare food. Instead it is about treating people in a kind delicate manner, with love and affection. The scenes in Paris are gorgeous. This is not tourist land Paris (well there are a few scenes with the Eifel Tour in the background), but more the places where people work and live. The scenes in the country are equally beautiful. The country scenes were shot North West of Paris, just in the country outside of suburbia, near Cergy at Montgeroult - Courcelles, Montgeroult, France.
Audrey Tautou's (Amelie) movie roles up to this point have been a bit on the quirky crazy side. In this film, she leaves all that behind and is a very normal intelligent woman, Nathalie. I like her in this film the best. Francois, played by Pio Marmai, is handsome, care free, and the perfect leading man. The other romantic interest, Markus, played by Francois Damiens, is the most unlikely person ever to be paired with Nathalie. Bruno Todeshini does an excellent job as the creepy inappropriate boss, Charles. The supporting cast is strong, especially Nathalie's friends and relatives.
The real stars of this film are behind the scenes, the Foenkinos brothers, David and Stephane. David wrote the novel this film is based on, and then turned around and wrote the screenplay. He is also credited with codirecting the film with his brother. It is remarkable that anybody this close to the story could have made such a wonderful film. The camera work, the pacing, the lighting, and the sound, were outstanding.
The film is almost two hours long (108 minutes). There were a few moments where the editing could have been a bit tighter, maybe 10 minutes less would have been better.
The soundtrack is beautiful. Most of the songs were written and performed by Emilie Simon. Simon has a quirky strange voice that is a nice contrast to the film. The samples here are well worth a listen, Franky Knight.
The film is rated PG-13. There is no nudity. There is a little bit of strong language in the subtitles. There are a few bedroom scenes, but it isn't clear that anybody is making love. Overall, this is an honest PG-13 film that 13 year olds could easily watch; the directors did not push the rating envelope. The film is presented in French with English subtitles.
The DVD includes two featurettes, an interview with Audrey Tautou, and a making of. The French seem to know exactly how to make these bonus features. They manage to extend the film, develop a deeper understanding of what happened and why. After watching the film, I enjoyed both shorts.
The film is about relationships, and finding love. It is also about details and a man paying close attention to the woman he loves then doing those small things that are ultimately incredibly easy to do but mean so much. It is the small gesture.