A Very Long Engagement (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Very Long Engagement (2004)



Critic Consensus: A well-crafted and visually arresting drama with a touch of whimsy.

A Very Long Engagement Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Audrey Tautou, who rose to international stardom with the title role in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's worldwide smash Amà (C)lie, reunites with the director for this drama, set during the darkest days of World War I and its immediate aftermath. Mathilde (Tautou) is a pretty but frail young women who was left with a bad leg after a childhood bout with polio. Mathilde lives in a small French village with her Aunt Bà (C)nà (C)dicte (Chantal Neuwirth) and Uncle Sylvain (Dominique Pinon), and is engaged to marry Manech (Gaspard Ulliel), the son of a lighthouse keeper who is fighting with the army near the German front. Manech is one of five soldiers who have been accused of injuring themselves in order to be sent home; in order to discourage similar behavior among their comrades, Manech and the other soldiers are sentenced to death, and the condemned men are marched into the no man's land between the French and German lines, where they are certain to be killed. Mathilde receives word of Manech's death, but in her heart she believes that if the man she loved had been killed, she would know it and feel it. Convinced he's still alive somewhere, Mathilde hires a private detective (Ticky Holgado) shortly after the end of the war, and together they set out to find the missing Manech. Jodie Foster appears in a supporting role as a Polish expatriate living in France. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R (for violence and sexuality)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: Guillaume Laurant, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 24, 2005
Box Office: $6.2M
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


Audrey Tautou
as Mathilde
Jean-Pierre Becker
as Lieutenant Esperanza
Dominique Bettenfeld
as Ange Bassignano
Clovis Cornillac
as Benoit Notre Dame
Marion Cotillard
as Tina Lombardi
Jodie Foster
as Elodie Gordes
Jean-Pierre Darrouss...
as Benjamin Gordes
Julie Depardieu
as Véronique Passavant
Jean-Claude Dreyfus
as Commandant Lavrouye
Albert Dupontel
as Celestin Poux
Ticky Holgado
as Germain Pire
Tcheky Karyo
as Captain Favourier
Denis Lavant
as Six-Soux
Chantal Neuwirth
as Bénédicte
Jean-Paul Rouve
as The Postman
as A Breton
Michel Chalmeau
as The Priest of Milly
Rodolphe Pauly
as Jean Desrochelles
Xavier Maly
as Chardolot's Friend
Myriam Roustan
as The Cafe Prostitute
Thierry Gibault
as Lieutenant Estrangin
Sandrine Rigaud
as Mariette Notre Dame
Marc Faure
as The Prison Director
Gilles Masson
as The Murdered Officer
Till Bahlmann
as German Prisoner
Tony Gaultier
as Gravedigger
Marc Robert
as Soldier
Pierre Heitz
as Soldier
Philippe Beautier
as Joker On The Train
Gérald Weingand
as Conned Solider
Luc Songzoni
as Conned Soldier
Marcel Philippot
as Bourgeois Couple
Pascale Lievyn
as Bourgeois Couple
Jean-Claude Lecoq
as German Machine Gunne...
Frédérique Bel
as Prostitute
Alexandre Caumartin
as Stretcher Bearer
Eric Defosse
as Stretcher Bearer
Gaspar Claus
as Stabbed German
Jean Philippe Beche
as Geroges Cornu
Anaïs Durand
as Hélène Prie
Marc Robert
as Soldier
Eric Fraticelli
as Menacing Corsican
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for A Very Long Engagement

Critic Reviews for A Very Long Engagement

All Critics (151) | Top Critics (40)

As in any fable, there are spires, towers and moats, and it's a spellbinding saga - a macabre dance choreographed by its romance's throbbing heart. Mathilde and Manech's love left its mark in many places, so why not the grungiest and war-torn?

Full Review… | November 22, 2010

Filmmaker Jeunet applies his aestheticized approach (which worked well for Amelie) to a WWII melodrama to some mixed results.

Full Review… | July 30, 2007

It's a romantic epic, an intense and gripping look at WWI, and a nifty little mystery-quest all rolled into one.

Full Review… | July 28, 2005
DVD Clinic

a successful genre combination of a war film, period romance, detective story and black comedy

Full Review… | July 21, 2005

Jean-Pierre Jeunet represents that select group of filmmakers who treat special effects as their own art.

Full Review… | July 16, 2005
Film Threat

A Very Long Engagement is every bit the fantasy, the fairy tale, that Amelie was, yet we are expected to take it seriously. I couldn't.

Full Review… | July 11, 2005
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for A Very Long Engagement

A young woman refuses to believe that her fiancee was killed in action in WWI and sets about finding out what happened to him and his comrades in their final days. The one thing you can count on from Jeunet is that you will be treated to a beautiful looking film and once again he does not disappoint. A Very Long Engagement is a visual feast with a score to match and complete with his usual ensemble cast of nicely played, likable eccentrics, this is a very difficult film to dislike. Although it does have its flaws. They mainly lie in the way that the romantic elements to the story and those concerning combat don't quite gel; I couldn't help thinking that I was actually watching two films spliced together. The investigation is also a little haphazard and unstructured and it just seemed that facts kept randomly coming to light without much in the way of narrative flow. Having said all that, it does have moments of genius and certain scenes are captivating. Audrey Tautou puts in another fine performance but Marion Cotillard virtually steals the film out from under her as a vengeful prostitute and I wish I'd seen a lot more of her character. As a whole it doesn't quite fit together and as a result lacks the emotional resonance it could have had, but the good far, far outweighs the bad.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

An engaging and emotional film, which sweeps you into the world of its characters, and has striking cinematography. In fact the visuals are the best thing about the film. It's a visual powerhouse of a film, mixing gritty visual conventions of the war genre with scenes of a more romantic visual style, both are done brilliantly. The Story and Characters are both interesting, and injected with a healthy amount of wit and humour. The writer has managed to perfectly blend various genres, devoting enough viewing time to each. The acting is a mixture of some performance which are almost cartoonishly ridiculous, and some which create deep 3D characters. This film is a brilliant blend of sad realism and enchanting fantasy. It creates its own world and characters, while at the same time reflecting ours. A bittersweet ending just adds to this theme. Is it worth watching? Yes it is. You're guaranteed an adventure of mixed emotions, and the challenge that the main character faces will keep you engaged and stop you from getting bored.

Joel K.
Joel Kelly

Super Reviewer

Indeed a very long and tedious engagement. In fact, it didn't engage me, but on the contrary, it began to bore me after a while. Simply not my cup of tea. Recommended for public in general, though.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

A Very Long Engagement Quotes

– Submitted by Pierre H (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss A Very Long Engagement on our Movie forum!