Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a dreamer, a weaver of tall tales and fables, and a director whose movies have an evocative mix of quirky charm and bravura. His most successful works – Amelie, The City of Lost Children and Delicatessen – thrill because they revel in a what an untethered imagination can produce. When Jeunet stalls (Alien: Resurrection, A Very Long Engagement) it is often due to the demands of big-studio filmmaking and distribution. Micmacs stands among his best work … victory for the imagination.
Micmacs has been described as Delicatessen meets Amelie, and you can’t blame a lazy press for that as it comes from the director himself. He’s right, too. This is a sweet, engaging comedy with dark undertones and is driven by a superb lead performance from Dany Boon but carried aloft by an ensemble of Jeunet regulars and newcomers.
Bazil’s (Boon) life has been shaped by weapons. His father died in the Moroccan desert trying to clear landmines, then, while working at a video store, a stray bullet strikes him in the head. The bullet doesn’t kill him but lodges in his brain, a constant reminder he’s only a second away from death.
Released from hospital but homeless and jobless, Bazil is adopted by a crew of secondhand goods dealers who live in the most beguiling of Aladdin’s caves. When Bazil chances across the two weapons companies responsible for his misfortune, his gang are presented with an opportunity for revenge they can’t turn down.