7.7/10
67,746
239 user 189 critic

A Very Long Engagement (2004)

Un long dimanche de fiançailles (original title)
Trailer
2:11 | Trailer

On Disc

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Tells the story of a young woman's relentless search for her fiancé, who has disappeared from the trenches of the Somme during World War One.

Director:

Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Writers:

Sébastien Japrisot (novel), Jean-Pierre Jeunet (story and adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Audrey Tautou ... Mathilde
Gaspard Ulliel ... Manech
Dominique Pinon ... Sylvain
Chantal Neuwirth Chantal Neuwirth ... Bénédicte
André Dussollier ... Pierre-Marie Rouvières
Ticky Holgado ... Germain Pire
Marion Cotillard ... Tina Lombardi
Dominique Bettenfeld ... Ange Bassignano
Jodie Foster ... Elodie Gordes
Jean-Pierre Darroussin ... Benjamin Gordes (as Jean Pierre Darroussin)
Clovis Cornillac ... Benoît Notre-Dame
Jean-Pierre Becker Jean-Pierre Becker ... Esperanza (as Jean Pierre Becker)
Denis Lavant ... Six-Soux
Jérôme Kircher Jérôme Kircher ... Bastoche
Albert Dupontel ... Célestin Poux
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Storyline

Five desperate French soldiers during The Battle of the Somme shoot themselves, either by accident or with purpose, in order to be invalided back home. Having been "caught" a court-martial convenes and determines punishment to be banishment to No Man's Land with the objective of having the Germans finish them off. In the process of telling this tale each man's life is briefly explored along with their next of kin as Methilde, fiancée to one of the men, tries to determine the circumstances of her lover's death. This task is not made any easier for her due to a bout with polio as a child. Along the way she discovers the heights and depths of the human soul. Written by Liam McBain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Never let go

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

French | German | Corsican

Release Date:

14 January 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Very Long Engagement See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$47,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,969,526 (France), 29 October 2004

Opening Weekend USA:

$101,749, 28 November 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,167,817, 27 February 2005

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$70,115,868, 28 April 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean-Pierre Jeunet met Jodie Foster as she was supervising the dubbed version of Panic Room (2002). The main roles were already taken but Jodie Foster agreed to star in a little role, as Elodie Gordes. She speaks French fluently, so she acted with her own voice. See more »

Goofs

One of the five sings a portion of La Chanson de Craonne, a famous French army song of protest against the horrors of the war, when he is out in no man's land. Trouble is the attack on Craonne in the Nivelle Offensive, which led to the song, occurred in April 1917, after the events in the movie. Words and tune logically came after that too. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Mathilde: Ashes to ashes. Ashes to ashes.
See more »

Connections

References The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Peer Gynt: Suite Number 1, Opus 46
Composed by Edvard Grieg
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User Reviews

 
an amazing movie..
2 November 2004 | by LibsSee all my reviews

It is almost insulting to compare this film to Amelie Poulain. Yes it's the same crew, yes it's the same director and yes, Audrey Tautou almost plays the same character. But give JP Jeunet a break, it's part of HIS style. Would you blame Beethoven because his symphonies kinda sounded the same?

It is at times gritty, with its very tough depictions of the Great War, and at times light and naive. It all follows a very complicated storyline which is, I would have to admit, the only weakness in this otherwise perfect movie. With so many characters and so many plot elements, some people may feel a bit lost, specially toward the end. But this is of lesser concern as the audience will still follow the main idea : a quest to find a loved one. So even through all the intricacies of the subplots, the arc story (and its finale) always remain on the horizon.

To put it short, the movie is a masterpiece. The acting is strong, the scenes are breathtaking and overall, so much attention has been put to details that it feels like a labor of love more than a big production movie. I truly think that if French cinema was not so locked into producing crappy talkative movies about losers and failures, it could come up with a lot more movies as poignant as Engagement is.


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