A Very Long Engagement (2004)



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

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 … More

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


as Mathilde

as Lieutenant Esperanza

as Ange Bassignano

as Benoit Notre Dame

as Tina Lombardi

as Elodie Gordes

as Benjamin Gordes

as Véronique Passavant

as Commandant Lavrouye

as Celestin Poux

as Rouviéres

as Germain Pire

as Captain Favourier

as Six-Soux

as Bénédicte

as The Postman

as L'il Louis

as A Breton

as The Priest of Milly

as Jean Desrochelles

as Chardolot's Friend

as The Cafe Prostitute

as Lieutenant Estrangin

as Mariette Notre Dame

as The Prison Director

as The Murdered Officer

as German Prisoner

as Gravedigger

as Soldier

as Soldier

as Joker On The Train

as Conned Solider

as Conned Soldier

as Bourgeois Couple

as Bourgeois Couple

as German Machine Gunne...

as Prostitute

as Stretcher Bearer

as Stretcher Bearer

as Stabbed German

as Geroges Cornu

as Hélène Prie

as Menacing Corsican
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for A Very Long Engagement

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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)

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