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La délicatesse
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Reviews & Ratings for
Delicacy More at IMDbPro »La délicatesse (original title)

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29 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

HK Neo Reviews: Delicacy / La délicatesse (2011) – France

8/10
Author: (webmaster@thehkneo.com) from Australia
20 May 2012

"Delicacy" works because Audrey Tautou is so amazing to watch. From the moment the film zoomed in on her pitch perfect classical pretty look, the film set its tone. However the part of the film that made it spectacularly brilliant is the final quadrant. Just when you feel the film moves toward melodrama, it turns over in full circle and finally laughter filled the cinema screening. The awkward moments became funny spots and the effortless unlikely romantic companion in Swedish François Damiens is as funny as Hong Kong's iconic Lam Suet. "Delicacy" is film that starts off sweetly, then bitterly and in the end unlikely and delightfully.

Audrey Tautou is simply stunning to watch. Not unlike Audrey Hepburn, they can do nothing and just frankly filled with close up shots and you will still be captivated. Her ability to own the screen is simply a pleasure to watch. Whether she is sad, happy, shocked or even random, Audrey can seamlessly connects with the audience at its very core. Equal to the task is the scene stealing Swedish co-worker François Damiens. Their romantic chemistry does not crash any computer screen, but there is something about them that makes then a couple to root for. His comedic timing is just absolutely "laugh out loud" moments. In fact, there was a time in the film when I uncontrollably laughed out loud and resulted in several turning heads and looks. However it was all worth it.

All in all, "Delicacy" is really one of the lightest hearted melodramatic yet romantic comedies of the year. It is one of those delightful films that are best served after a long day at work where you can sit back and appreciate the beauty of Paris and Ms Audrey Tautou. Ever since Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris", I have placed the city on top of my list and after "Delicacy", I can only say that love is not just a four letter word. A highly enjoyable bittersweet rom-com…

Neo rates it 8.5/10

- www.thehkneo.com

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24 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A delightful French romance

8/10
Author: Kookyburra from United Kingdom
19 September 2012

This film achieves something that a heck of a lot of films, particularly romantic comedies, get wrong.

It captures that feeling of two people messily entering into a relationship. The initial joys and awkwardness. The moments of fright when it all seems overwhelming. The calm reflective times and the stormy moments of doubt.

After a shaky start, the film blossoms into a refreshingly cliché free study of a beautiful woman impulsively starting a relationship with a shy, ungainly, but good natured man. It's his goodness that comes through. He wins out over the slick womanisers through sheer innocent charm and a desire to do good.

A heart warming film about the need to love fearlessly and without following the crowd and of taking happiness where it's found.

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Tellingly misunderstood and underrated

9/10
Author: cskoog from Ireland
10 November 2012

This is a much better film than has been generally recognized. Props to Tatou for choosing this project. It is not a romantic comedy, though there are many occasions for laughter. It is about love and loss, grief and healing. Maybe even more, it is about our culture, whose pervasive artificiality and interpersonal politics need to make real things seem weird and out of place. There is a Bergmanesque (eg: 'Swedish') subsurface to this light-footed film. As you watch it, consider the fates Tatou's character avoids by rejecting each invitation to 'normalcy'...

The film is beautifully shot, colored, and lit. The script is marvelously economical: every line is necessary. Finally, the music is ideal for allowing the intentions of the filmmaker to sink in.

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21 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

A gentle winning insight into the sum of humanity being greater than the parts.

9/10
Author: Tom McLoughlin from Australia
10 May 2012

I am not a fan of emotional nuanced, indeed French, movies. So why the big score? Went with my girlfriend who was tired after a busy day at work. I was skeptical already. We loved it.

- Female lead was whippet like, not the usual Hollywood cookie cutter looks. Her emotional range in subtle fashion was very good. The whole movie reaches an emotional climax at the end and I love the surreal nature of that, always been a sucker for the spiritual/metaphysical/surreal imagery.

- The male lead was goofy but as you look you see a dignity, a certain honor, and pointed wit. This man is lovable and credible as such.

- The music was fantastic no doubt because it was written for real life loss by Emilie Simon. My friend is Budhist and the bells in the signature tune were perfect. Any movie with excellent music (compare Thin Red Line) will lift and indeed soar.

- The movie is just released in Australia and probably there are a lot of multicultural 'mismatched' couples who commit to each other attracted by difference. Australia is the most successful multicultural country IN THE WORLD. When I was in France I saw the pathetic xenophobia with due contempt felt by me (it was a subway situation in Paris).

- The French style in the urban and rural landscapes were very stylish for those with an eye to detail, but perhaps not for knuckleheads (other reviewers?).

- The French history is sub textual - Norsemen naming Normandy and making a marriage of Vikings and French some 1,000 years ago. The above-mentioned highly metaphorical rural landscape of yellow and green is notable for those with eyes to see. Even dialog about a cold day being like summer gives the clue to this ancient subtext.

- these themes of multicultural tolerance and deeper humanity, especially in the shadow of madman Anders Behring Breivik, was a superbly timed contribution to popular culture. Bring on the Love as the antidote to the hate.

9 out of 10. I stand by that.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

'It enables me to be the best version of me even.'

8/10
Author: gradyharp from United States
10 February 2013

'La délicatesse' is a lovely French dish written by David Foenkinos and directed by both David and Stéphane Foenkinos. Much of the success of this slightly to the edge story of the vagaries of love and life as they intertwine is due to the presence of the irresistible charm and charisma of lead actress Audrey Tautou. She is able to take this story that at times seems impossibly off track and keep it grounded in her sense of lightness and focus, making us believe that what actually happens to this character is truly quite possible.

Nathalie Kerr (Audrey Tautou) is a successful businesswoman who happens to meet the rather unkempt but impish François (Pio Marmaï, an irresistibly charming actor) quite by accident (and an order of apricot juice) in a café. Nathalie is literally swept off her feet and rather quickly this spontaneous meeting of hearts results in blissful marriage. The perfect scenario ends tragically when François is accidentally kill. Nathalie's heart seems irreparable and she trudges through life bathed in grief and longing. Even her handsome boss Charles (Bruno Todeschini) can't woo her: Nathalie is frank in her objection that Charles is a married man. Then the door to her office opens and a subordinate nerdy appearing geek named Markus Lundi (François Damiens) walks in and Nathalie impetuously greets him with a passionate kiss - an act she represses thinking that such a deed was impossible. And this apparent one- sided accidental occurrence lightens Markus' life and he is committed to falling in love with the resistant Nathalie. The 'courtship' leads to Nathalie's recognition that love and happiness can happen in the most unexpected places and ways.

Summarizing the story makes it sound trite and bordering on silly, but it is the delicately French manner in which it is told that makes the film so refreshingly endearing. The entire cast is first class (director Stéphane Foenkinos is best known as one of France's best casting directors!) but it is the glimmering lightness of Tautou and Marmaï and Damiens that make it sail. A perfect Valentine.

Grady Harp

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17 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Audrey Tautou charms again....

5/10
Author: Tim Kidner (tim@kidnerpix.com) from Salisbury, United Kingdom
6 May 2012

I watched this at a community arts centre, as part of their film season and where a mixture of mostly younger couples and women of all ages on their own were in attendance. I was the only bloke on my own.

Now, many enjoy a romantic film; generally, I don't. Audrey Tautou was definitely the selling point for me. I'm sure a good number will find Delicacy a delightful film, full of life's quirks and nicely Gallic, too.

Unfortunately, most of the scenes are in and around the workplace, the direction is boring and the camera-work often rather lazy. And, the film is getting on for being seriously long - 108mins for a rom-com is pushing it a bit.

Thankfully, the characters are rather more interesting with our lovely Tautou generally rather underplaying her lead role and came across as being slightly disinterested, though this may have been intentional. There are a couple of scenes that she acts masterfully, though and these help keep us interested.

The scenario goes something like this - Nathalie (Tautau) is distraught when her perfect life partner tragically dies. To distract her grief she throws herself into her work as a middle-manager (a law firm, I think), but still she dwells on her loss. One day, she literally throws herself at balding and rather gangly Swede Markus (Francois Damiens) who understandably, cannot believe his luck. She initially denies that she had any reason do have done that but tentatively, they become closer. Getting others - her friends, parents and workmates to take Markus seriously then becomes the thrust of the film.

It's quietly affecting and amusing, certainly not laugh-out-loud and will be too subtle and slightly off-key for those who only really go for blatant and brash U.S rom-coms. Better seen (I'm sure) as a couple and even more so if that couple are 'together' Delicacy offers some quirky embellishments to add a touch of magic as well as a story that is slightly different. However, as I have said, much of that was wasted on me but I'm still fairly glad that I saw it but I fear, it will fade from my memory rather fast.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A Nutshell Review: Delicacy

7/10
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore
23 April 2012

Expectations can be such a bitch, when pre-conceived notions formed by others become shattered when reality dawns upon them. It can apply to many areas, but in a romantic comedy, it almost certainly applies to how one perceives the other half that a friend had chosen. And I suppose for the girls if their friend's new beau doesn't come tall, dark and handsome, but balding, goofy and awkward, then there will be bewilderment that will take on a life of its own around the gossip mills.

The debut feature of directors David and Stephane Foenkinos, adapting from the former's novel, Delicacy turned out to be not what one expected, with scenes played out in rather individualistic fashion, and ultimately never finding a natural rhythm of pacing. It's a classic case where the sum of all its parts turned out to be rather rote and hardly surpassing the brilliance of ideas injected into individual episodes, making it a rather rough ride where you'd constantly wonder just where the story is heading.

The draw here is of course Audrey Tautou, playing yet another strong female character whose whirlwind romance with Francois (Pio Marmai) comes to a full stop when the inevitable happens, in a scene where I was expecting a vehicle to hit Francois on the screen from right to left. Well that wish got unfulfilled, but Francois does succumb to injuries and Tautou's Nathalie Kerr becomes a widow, devoting herself to her work for the next three years, before discovering opportunities for a fresh love life comes knocking on her door again. And all these serving as the prologue, while being really inconsequential to everything else that came after, and could have sped up the pacing to get to the crux of the story instead.

And that's the new chapter of her life predominantly set in her workplace, where her boss Charles (Bruno Todeschini) tried to hit on her, and her fellow work group mate Markus Lundl (Francois Damiens) becomes comically attracted to her because of her sudden and unexpected, one off advances where she kisses him out of the blue. The rest of the film deals with their romantic dalliances, with some nice touches to dialogues given Markus' deadpan humorous streak, and self-deprecating jokes that gets delivered with a straight face. But it's true, I suppose for those who don't have what it takes on the outside, being a funny man definitely works wonders, and Markus soon has Nathalie eating out of his hand, not that he could handle the attention anyhow.

While the romance doesn't really work out that well, what did work are the little background events that anyone working in an office will encounter from time to time, and these are the most fun, with gossips spreading like wildfire, and how sometimes we get easily offended by others who tend to be quick to pass judgement on who we are from glimpses on the outside. Audrey Tautou is at her pixie best in a role somewhat failed to challenge the actress, with Francois Damiens upstaging her in almost every aspect and scene, thanks to having portray a more interesting character complete with insecurities and quirks that is easily identified with by anyone - you will feel his pain when being compared with the Ideal, Perfect Man, who exists only in minds and not in real life, and being quite the good sport and feeling quite comfortable with himself when his shortcomings are mocked at.

Delicacy turned out to be a rather choppy ride, with a rather erratic pacing and structure that seemed to branch off and take on a life of its own, rather than to be in sync to form a more coherent narrative. Still, it's down to the chemistry of the leads when playing the unlikeliest of couples both in social standing, looks and attitudes, without whom this delicacy would have turned out to be a bland affair.

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13 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Average rom-com with a sweet heart

6/10
Author: Tom Gooderson-A'Court (tgooderson@hotmail.co.uk) from United Kingdom
22 April 2012

Nathalie (Audrey Tautou) is left devastated after the death of her new husband Francois (Pio Marmai) and spends the next three years mourning him, in a daze, floating through life. One day unexpectedly she kisses a new colleague of hers, Markus (Francois Damiens), an unattractive, balding Swede in an act that leaves him perplexed and creates tensions at work.

The first half of this film was incredibly dull and bland. I was beginning to regret seeing it until the introduction of Damiens as Markus. He bought a spark to the film and took it from a magnolia tragedy to a sweet and funny romantic comedy. Up until this point it felt like the film was going nowhere. Nathalie had been hit on by her boss in a scene which bought nothing to the film; she had somehow gone from selling programmes at the theatre to having her own office and running some sort of case (which was never explained). Then Damiens arrived and lit up the screen. His character was bumbling and nervous but sweet and kind and it is clear why Nathalie is drawn to him. Their relationship creates many funny scenes as well as some that verge on melancholia.

Tautou is fine as Nathalie but she is hardly stretched. She has to play a pretty young widow who looks glum, something her face seems to do naturally. The supporting cast are all fine too and include a Christina Hendricks lookalike who plays a secretary, wears the same outfits as 'Joan' from Mad Men and even has the same pen around her neck! The star of the show though is Francois Damiens who steals the film. He plays the sort of character that you would love to be friends with and you know would always look out for you. He also gives the ordinary man hope by getting together with Audrey Tautou. He also provides most of the film's comic relief.

One of the problems with the film is that it suffers with the same musical trouble as Little White Lies. Obviously film makers choose music that conveys a certain mood but here as in the aforementioned film, it is so palpable it verges on being ridiculous. I also have a problem with the dull first act but overall this is a throwaway romantic comedy which features strong central performances and a message that it doesn't matter how someone looks but what matters is what sort of person you are.

www.attheback.blogspot.com

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14 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

An unlikely romance between a smart successful Gallic gamine and a balding portly Swede makes for a somewhat entertaining rom-com that could do without the melodrama

6/10
Author: moviexclusive from Singapore
23 March 2012

Attempting to restate her claim as the queen of French rom-coms, Audrey Tautou returns in yet another soufflé-light offering playing a young widow who falls in love with a balding Swedish man who is older, less attractive and less successful than her. Better still, their unlikely love story takes place against the age-old taboo of office romances- but even before the obligatory obstacles from both their personal and professional lives roll along, you already guess that the pair of opposites will eventually end up together.

Indeed, much as the movie tries to differentiate itself by injecting tragedy into the mix, there's little mistaking that first-time directors David and Stéphane Foenkinos- the former of whom also wrote the novel on which the movie is based- never did intend to veer away from the requisite happily-ever-after ending of the typical rom-com. All that remains to be seen is whether or not the journey to that destination is worth the ride- and the answer in this case is only a slight yes.

Of the film's three acts- the first beginning with Nathalie (Tautou) and Francois' (Pio Marmai) whirlwind romance and ending with the latter's unexpected death; the second detailing the tentative courtship between Nathalie and said Swedish colleague Markus (Francois Damiens); and the last demonstrating their willingness to preserve their relationship despite the objections of friends and colleagues- only the middle one proves engaging with its 'Amelie-like' whimsical mood.

Sparked off by Nathalie's decision to kiss Markus on a whim, this utterly charming middle section wittily observes the unintended consequences from that very impulse. In a clever switch of archetypes, it is Markus who turns out totally smitten by Nathalie, so much so that he deliberately runs away when he senses he may be falling too deeply in love with her. That scene set on a bridge against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower is one of the funniest in the movie- ditto for another in which Nathalie takes the initiative to ask him out for a play over office messaging just as his Google search turns out the exact same date idea.

In comparison to the playful simplicity of the second act, Foenkinos' tries to cram too much into the first, trying to create a sympathetic character in Nathalie. Unfortunately, the tragic turn of events that leads Nathalie to throw herself into work for the next three years before she meets Markus fails to resonate, and seems wholly unnecessary to the central romance between the two co-workers. The third act fares slightly better, but a melodramatic turn sparked off by a heated exchange between Nathalie and her boss Charlie (Bruno Todeschini) who also fancies her is amateurish and changes the tone of the film too jarringly.

Thankfully, the movie does finish on a winning note with a beautiful fantasy sequence shot in one single take- though that alone does not distract from the fact that the filmmakers lack the dexterity at rolling romance, comedy and drama into one. The directors' inexperience also shows in the way they have both Nathalie and Markus narrate their own thoughts at random points in the movie, never using the voiceovers as an effective technique to get to know the characters better or to put a spin on the story (a la 'She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not').

Tautou is once again typecast as the gamine with the pixie-ish appeal, and though she is as lovely as she was in 'Amelie', it's clear this role was never much of a stretch for the actress to begin with. The scene- stealer here however is her co-star Damiens, an unlikely choice for a rom-com, but one perfectly suited for the role here with his wide goofy smile and disarming genuineness. You'll easily root for Damiens, and consequently his romance with Tautou to succeed in the movie.

Despite its name, this French rom-com is no delicacy, though it has its fair share of winning moments to make it more than an entertaining trifle. Don't expect it too to be a smart satire on office romances- indeed, it is too genial and whimsical to offer much on the subject. The best it does is fill out the gap for the rom-com genre until the next one rolls along, when almost certainly it will be forgotten.

- www.moviexclusive.com

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Language is a big thing

8/10
Author: markpucuchu from United States
15 September 2012

Some movies are best seen in their original language without subtitles, some dubbed in your own language and some just with subtitles. La Delicatesse is a film which should be seen in French without subtitles which is how it impacts the viewer most. And rather than the 6 it gets on average rises to a more deserved 8.5 IMO. Romantic comedy for those in need of love. Works if you're in or out of a relationship. I still don't get the reason Nathalie kisses Marcus but everything after that makes sense, even feels very realistic as I can associate with most of the elements of the central theme of the movie, from Marcus's point of view to her boss's point of view having encountered both situations. The film is sweet and carries you on a dream, but isn't this what films are best for? Makes very nice viewing on cold winter nights.

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