The word 'visionary' is given out very easily nowadays. Seemingly every director with a penchant for the image (or simply ambitious, CGI-laden projects) is bestowed with that label. However, there are few that embody the term with both its flaws and genius, whose pursuit of uniquely visual styles often take precedence over slick narratives or thematic subtlety. Jean Pierre Jeunet is one of these auteurs of the eye, and his latest film, Micmacs (Micmacs à tire-larigot), is a dazzling spectacle of imagination and design.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of Micmacs for those familiar with Jeunet's work (Amelie, Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children) is its plot. As in, it has one. Whereas his previous films have used fairytale settings and whimsical storytelling to facilitate flights of fancy, Micmacs is, on one level, narrative heavy, featuring distinct tones of broad satire, railing against arms companies and those that profit from war and terror.
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