L'écume des jours (Mood Indigo) (2014)
Critic Consensus: Mood Indigo is far from Michel Gondry's most compelling work, but it doesn't skimp on the visual whimsy and heartfelt emotion fans have come to expect.
Eminently inventive Michel Gondry finds inspiration from French novelist Boris Vian's cult novel to provide the foundation for this visionary and romantic love story starring Audrey Tautou (Amélie, Coco Before Chanel) and Romain Duris (The Beat My Heart Skipped). Set in a charmingly surreal Paris, Duris plays wealthy bachelor Colin, whose hobbies include developing his pianocktail (a cocktail-making piano) and devouring otherworldly dishes prepared by his trusty chef Nicolas (Omar Sy, The Untouchables). When Colin learns that his best friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh, The Valet), a fellow acolyte of the philosopher Jean-Sol Partre, has a new American girlfriend, our lonely hero attends a friend's party in hopes of falling in love himself. He soon meets Chloé (Audrey Tautou) and, before they know it, they're dancing to Duke Ellington and plunging headfirst into a romance that Gondry rapturously depicts as only he can. Their whirlwind courtship is tested when an unusual illness plagues Chloe; a flower begins to grow in her lungs. To save her, Colin discovers the only cure is to surround Chloe with a never-ending supply of fresh flowers. MOOD INDIGO was nominated for three 2014 César Awards: Étienne Charry (Best Original Music), Florence Fontaine (Best Costume) and Stéphane Rozenbaum (Best Production Design). --(c) Drafthouse … More
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Critic Reviews for L'écume des jours (Mood Indigo)
Gondry has such an incomparable understanding of the way in which strange and unexpected sights can tickle you. What he sometimes lacks as a filmmaker is the awareness that he can tickle an audience to death.
Mood Indigo paints a depressing picture about romance but does so with fabulous, although often-exhausting, style.
"Mood Indigo" feels both overdone and undercooked - a hectic but sketchy tale of oddball romance that slides inexorably into tragedy.
It's hard not to take delight in Michel Gondry and his whooshing, bendable universe.
A mad mix of what Tex Avery, Rube Goldberg and the silent-film fantasist Georges Melies might have come up with if they'd put their feverish heads together.
Audience Reviews for L'écume des jours (Mood Indigo)
Gondry displays his usual visual creativity to bring us this surreal universe where abstract is made literal, but his overstuffed narrative has absolutely no structure and it is impossible not to feel exhausted with such a distracting amount of nonsensical elements thrown in at every second.
So much pointless whimsy. Creative multimedia films like "Bunny and the Bull" and "The Science of Sleep" use fantastical papier mache set pieces to represent some kind of distance between the characters and their imagined lives, but this film's twee arts and crafts hardly pertain to the story. The conflict indicated in the IMDb synopsis doesn't even come until halfway through the movie.
A man and woman fall in love, but then she inhales a snowflake and starts to die.
As much as I loved Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I obviously hated The Green Hornet and didn't much care for The Science of Sleep. So I guess you could say that director Michel Gondry's particular brand of quirk is hit and miss but mostly miss for me. The special effects-laden morning routines of the protagonist and the goofy will-they-won't-they-but-you-really-know-they-will-because-plot courtship doesn't do anything to charm, and when the second act death march starts, the quirk takes a turn to the maudlin. When the film ends, there's not much to say about it besides "Well ... shit," and I didn't know whether I was describing the events or the film.
Overall ... well ... shit.
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