Although it’s French, Delicacy is quite capable of stirring the sentiments of Midwestern movie-goers, if only for a moment.
My reason for supporting this argument boils down to the resemblance between Bon Iver singer Justin Vernon and the movie’s male romantic lead, François Damiens. See Exhibit A below.
And not only does Damiens resemble Vernon physically, his character (Markus) is something of a European caricature of the Grammy-winning singer. For instance, Markus hails from the Upper Midwest of Europe: Sweden. Despite being kind, funny and an absolute gentleman, Markus is made fun of by everyone in the French office in which he works; they generally consider him to be a weird ogre – to be fair, he does look something like a Neanderthal – and they find it totally unbelievable that the arguably most recognizable beauty of recent French cinema (Audrey Tautou) has a crush on him.
Thus, it’s quite nice to watch this Swede as he makes his way, joke after joke, into the cloistered heart of Tautou’s character, a young widow named Nathalie. However, the movie doesn’t have much else going for it.
The movie fizzled out in my memory like a refreshing but not particularly memorable brand of exotic sparkling water. I felt satisfied by the movie’s display of Markus’ feelings. For instance, when he’d realize his love for Nathalie, things around him – the Eiffel Tower, for example – would start to glitter with hundreds of tiny supernovae.
But this kind of slight pleasure (or delicacy, if you will) was all I got. Nathalie’s story, which centers on her need to move on emotionally after her husband dies, is pretty bland. While her relationship with Markus is pleasant to watch, it’s not something I’d recommend.
Delicacy plays at the Edina Cinema next Friday.