|Contains two romantic period films set in France. A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT and AFFAIR OF THE NECKLACE|
A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT:The film is set in France near the end of World War I in the deadly trenches of the Somme, in the gilded Parisien halls of power, and in the modest home of an indomitable provincial girl. It tells the story of this young woman's relentless, moving and sometimes comic search for her fiance, who has disappeared. He is one of five French soldiers believed to have been court-martialed under mysterious circumstances and pushed out of an allied trench into an almost-certain death in no-man's land. What follows is an investigation into the arbitrary nature of secrecy, the absurdity of war, and the enduring passion, intuition and tenacity of the human heart.
AFFAIR OF THE NECKLACE:A romantic drama based on the controversial true story of Jeanne De La Motte Valois (Hilary Swank), a countess whose name was stripped from her by the Royal Family during the late 18th Century. The story of her fight to restore her name and proper place in society is filled with mystery, intrigue and desire, with an infamous diamond necklace at the center of it all.
"[Engagement]...makes points about the absurdity of war, but balances those out by adopting the phrase that "love conquers all." James Berardinelli's ReelViews
"[Necklace] ...the remarkable odyssey of a young woman... Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"[Engagement] It's an emotional powerhouse. Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"[Necklace] ...the fact that it was inspired by real-life events made me enjoy it all the more. Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper And The Movies
"[Engagement]...a film that is a series of pleasures...to delight us. Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Editor's NoteA VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT: This World War I mystery finds limitless beauty in the nostalgia of loss. Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, whose whimsical AMELIE riveted audiences, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT also stars Audrey Tautou--the 21st century's Audrey Hepburn--in the stubbornly emotional role of a widow in denial. Here she is Mathilde, a waifish young woman with a pronounced limp from childhood polio. Living with her quirky aunt and uncle in a farmhouse by the sea, and waiting desperately for her fiance Manech (Gaspard Ulliel) to return from the war, she believes that if he were truly lost she would feel it in her heart. Thus, when the bad news arrives--Manech and five fellow soldiers were exiled to No Man's Land for shooting off their own fingers in hope of being discharged--Mathilde refuses to believe he is dead. Instead, she begins her own investigation into Manech's infantry, hiring a private detective and tracking down the wives and girlfriends of each of Manech's compatriots. Conducting countless interviews, Mathilde pieces together Manech's war stories--which are told in earthshaking flashbacks involving gruesome explosions, flying guts, and massive suffering. And yet, the all-in-this-together humanity of these awful scenes, and the heartfelt bravery with which Mathilde absorbs the details of each battle, is undeniably moving. Jodie Foster appears as Elodie, one of the widows, in a charismatic yet muted performance and with a flawless accent. However, the most intriguing of the widows is Tina Lombardi (Marion Cotillard), a thrilling dominatrix-assassin bent on avenging her lover. A timeless masterwork that raises the bar for breathtaking camerawork, vivid landscapes, and fantastical storytelling, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT is adapted from the novel by Sebastien Japriscot.AFFAIR OF THE NECKLACE: This tale of intrigue and corruption is based on a true account of 18th Century French noblewoman Jeanne de la Motte-Valois (played by Oscar-winner Hilary Swank), whose family has been dispossessed of status and title by the king. To restore honor to her name, not to mention reclaim her family estate, Jeanne must have her lineage officially authenticated at the court of Versailles. After several unsuccessful attempts to obtain an audience with Marie Antoinette (Joely Richardson), Jeanne finds an ally in male courtesan Rétaux de la Villette (Simon Baker), who advises her to try and gain influence at court by attracting a wealthy sponsor: Cardinal Rohan (Jonathan Pryce), a ruthless man whose appetite for women is only exceeded by his appetite for power. Aided by Villette, her estranged husband Nicolas (Adrien Brody), and an enigmatic foreign mystic, Count Cagliostro (Christopher Walken), Jeanne becomes embroiled in an elaborate scheme involving the cardinal, the queen, and the theft of a priceless diamond necklace. Director Charles Shyer's opulent costume drama, set against a backdrop of increasing civil unrest in pre-revolutionary France, was filmed in Prague and on location at Versailles.
|Charley Shyer - [Necklace] Director|
|Jean-Pierre Jeunet - [Engagement] Director|
|Aline Bonetto, Nominee, [Engagement] Best Achievement in Art Direction|
|Bruno Delbonnel, Nominee, [Engagement] Best Cinematography|
|Milena Canonero, Nominee, [Necklace] Best Costume Design|