Mood Indigo (2013) Poster


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The spirit of Boris Vian is definitely there
reno-besse24 April 2013
Usually, I do not care about how a book is adapted, as long as the movie is good on its own. In that case it was completely different; I am a huge, massive Boris Vian fan, and I never thought his style (for example the way he took metaphors literally) could be set upon a screen.

That is to say, until I've heard that Gondry was directing L'écume des Jours. Sometimes, those things just make sense; Gondry is the only one who could have transformed Boris Vian into something visual, and that is exactly what he did, and with no CGI, only old fashioned tricks. The DIY way ladies and gentlemen, that's what it is all about.

Maybe many will dislike this movie. Others, like me, will love it passionately, for its effusiveness, for its communicative joy, for its unrelenting sadness. But at least, people will feel what Boris Vian is all about. And I mean especially for the English speaking countries, where Boris Vian is really not well known and most of the time poorly translated: by transcribing his style to a visual dimension, Gondry made it universal.
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Very Vian like
ilan_himself27 April 2013
When I decided to go see that movie, I was really scared. Scared that, somehow, this movie might be bad, whereas the book of Boris Vian is one of my favorite. But when I got out, I was really amazed. I felt almost depressed, exactly the same way when I finished reading the book. For the whole night long, I couldn't keep my mind of the movie, and I was barely able to sleep.

Gondry actually made me open my eyes about some things, that I couldn't imagine or figure out. But when I think about it, it just make sense. Like the fact that Alise is black woman. I don't know why, I've always imagined her as a white and blonde woman. But it's only natural that she is in fact black.

I can understand the fact that some people would not like the movie, being very weird, and being in it's own universe. But I really think this movie deserves a way better grade. Maybe one of the greatest adaptations that I have seen, yet. I gladly recommend to see this movie.
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fantastic movie based on a wonderful book
j_wijnja26 May 2013
To me, this movie does what movies are for: activate the imagination. In this case, touching a theme not as alien as one might wish it to be in a fantastic setting. The 'fantastic' way in which people and institutions appear is far from random; it feels to me like a hyperdream of familiar entities and sensations, their logical extreme. Rich, vivid imagination which enters your brain and puts hooks in it. Loved the book and Gondry made it even more alive for me. Quite a feat. If you do like the movie, please check out the book (and also other titles by Vian). Don't want to generalize too much but if you like movies by Terry Gilliams you will probably like this a lot, too. Rats, writing reviews is hard and I'm not very good at it; but i so disagree with the IMDb-grade for this film (currently 5.8) and the general reviews I've read so far that I had to create an account just to weigh in. So please go see this film and find out for yourself!

Did I mention already that it is beautifully made, and at times very funny?
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Fabulous use of surrealist effects!
marjoline-delahaye18 June 2013
I went in to the theater without checking out the reviews beforehand, completely open-minded. I was drawn in by the word "surrealist" in the description, and curious to see whether the movie was going to compare with the early day movies like the 1902 A Trip to the Moon. This was when the totally new possibilities of film were being enthusiastically embraced, and for those long-gone creators the sky was the limit. I wasn't disappointed. It is fabulous how the director has created the most absurd situations and effects, giving the viewer the feeling of bouncing from one surrealist painting into another. It looks like a movie which must have been incredibly time-consuming to bring together, and in my mind Michel Gondry has totally succeeded. Bravo also to Marie-Charlotte Moreau, for her wonderful editing to bring about this beautiful result.
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When the visual crush the story
SuperKino2 January 2014
30 minutes in the movie and the question was inevitable: "Still 90 minutes like this?" Unfortunately yes.Two hours with visuals in almost every frame: animated ringing bell, dancing long legs,soap-bubbles TV, Duke Ellington, stop motioned food, protons guns, Duke Ellington again and much much much more.

Don't take me wrong, i love surreal stuff, I like Gondry and his past works too, from music video clips ('starguitar' and 'around the world' are two of my favorite) to movies (human nature, science of sleep, eternal sunshine and the 'Tokyo!' fragment) but this time looks like he maybe pushed a way too much the visual part of the story.

I didn't read the book, but i've read around that the movie is pretty accurate to the script, the original story is very interesting to me but while watching the movie at some point you'll realize that you don't care anymore about what is happening in the story, because you'll get just distracted by all the visuals.

The acting was good, almost everything was good but to me this was an artsy-videoclip-120 minute long and after watching it, i don't even know if i liked it or not.

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Starts off great but derailed into a mess
Gordon-1125 April 2014
This film tells the story of a young man who lives a great life in his fantastic apartment in Paris. He meets a girl and fall in love, and his life is not the same again.

The film starts off great, with the signature Michel Gondry style of bizarre visual feast. I really like the clash of old and new technology, such as typing into a computer where there are tall people at the other end to process the command. It's imaginative and fun to watch. After an hour of visual feasts, we get to the main advertised plot. The film is not the same anymore, as it moves into a sombre direction. Then the plot derails into a fragmented mess, and I didn't quite know what the plot is really about. Overall, I wish the film was shorter as it really didn't need that much time to tell this story.
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Doesn't satisfy.
knoobe12 June 2013
First of all, i must admit that I didn't read the book. So perhaps that's the reason I didn't get the purpose of this film.

I was attending this movie with great expectations, I love the work of Michel Gondry and I couldn't wait to see Audrey Tatou and Omar Sy playing together.

The special effects were great, and as I said before Michel Gondry is one of my favorites. But here's the thing, I was unhappy during the movie. I couldn't develop sympathy for the main characters, because the storyline felt missing too often. Combine that with the weird dialogs and the straying from one scene to another without a proper connection, you'll get why. The dialog, and I understand that this was adopted from the book, but in this movie it just didn't made sense.

I couldn't feel what I wanted to feel about this movie, I wanted to like it so badly but I couldn't. I feel the film was more focused on the special effects than on the actual character development and storyline.
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Strong in the tragic parts
info-1247112 October 2013
I read the book many years ago and barely remembered it, but I still felt that magic of the absurd or weird that had impressed me so much. The film indeed manages to translate this feeling into visual images, but I felt that it was too much, and while with the book I never felt it tried to be funny, the film did. At least it was my impression that it was a bit slapstick in part, and through some parts I did get bored. However, it did become strong towards the end, in the tragic part. Suddenly the absurdity and weirdness became a proper language for the tragic development, it became a mirror of the protagonists inner world and feelings. It really impressed me there.
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If you love the word "quirky", then go ahead and love it...
jmalmsten21 January 2014
I love strange movies, but apart from Eternal Sunshine, Gondry has been more miss than hit for me. And this is probably the biggest miss for me. The effects in this started out as distracting. Even jarring. "HEY LOOK AT ANOTHER OF THESE WONDERFULLY QUIRKY ANIMATIONS! AREN'T YOU FEELING THE QUIRKY, HAPPY, WONDERFULLNESS YET? HEY, HEY! LOOK AT IT! FEEL HAPPY AND QUIRKY GODDAMMIT!!! And before the ten minute mark, they became tedious.

For almost an hour I sat there wondering why I was supposed to feel anything for these shallow two-dimensional characters. Heck. There wasn't even any particular setbacks for anyone until Chloe started to faint. And by that time I was way beyond even caring.

Well. I should probably add that the version we showed at our local art-house-cinema was the 94 minute version. Maybe the 124 min cut doesn't feel nearly as slapped haphazardly together. Or maybe they cut out 30 min of tedium. I don't know. All I do know is that I barely made it through this one and my interest isn't exactly piqued for a longer sit.

Again, I love movies with strange elements. Making my brain go WTF did someone put in my soft-drink? But for me there needs to be some semblance of timing and storytelling momentum. Not just, Hey I know, let's have five more scenes of them fighting the stop-motion doorbell spider while smiling happy and quirky faces without it adding anything of value to the plot. Why? Because it's quirky! Do we need another reason?

You know. During watching this film I realized I just don't care for "quirky". It does absolutely nothing for me. Adds nothing and becomes a tedious chore to sit through yet another HAPPY HAPPY STRANGE AND Wonderful SET-PIECE. FEEL THE HAPPY GODDAMMIT! No. I do not feel the happy. I instead feel like bitter old fart for not enjoying what is so clearly supposed to be a wonderful moment. And any movie that makes me feel like a bitter old fart gets a low rating from me...

Wow... starting out I didn't realize I could muster up this much of emotion to describe my experience. I should probably stop now. Yes... just stop.

If you love "quirky" and Tatou. Then you'll probably love this. Because there's just a sh**-ton of that. If you don't. Get ready for tedium.
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A Mood Shift Issue
comicman1177 September 2014
Mood Indigo is an interesting film based off the novel by French author, Boris Vian. With Michel Gondry's sharp direction, a tone of satire and some funny moments, Mood Indigo should really work. However, watching the film all the way through, I can't help but wonder if the movie would have been better had it not featured so many random and nonsensical scenes that overall didn't do anything for the picture. Mood Indigo is an unusual movie that fits Gondry's style (eg. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and from a filmmaking standpoint, it is fascinating to watch.

The film is set in a surreal Paris, and tells the story of a wealthy bachelor named Colin (played by Romain Duris), who spends his time developing a cocktail-making piano known as a pianocktail (not the most subtle of names), and devouring strange moving dishes prepared by his chef, Nicolas (played by Omar Sy). Colin learns that his best friend, Chick (Gad Elmaleh), who is a fellow assistant of philosopher, Jean-Sol Partre (played by Philippe Torreton), has a new American girlfriend (played by Aissa Maiga, who is actually a Senegal born French actress doing an admirable job pretending that her French accent is low), and so he decides to attend a party in hopes that he may find someone for himself. There he meets Chloe (played by Audrey Tautou) and the two fall in love. Eventually an illness comes over Chloe, one very strange illness, as a flower begins to grow in her lungs. The only way Colin can save her, is to supply her with an endless amount of fresh flowers.

The opening of Mood Indigo introduces us to what most of the film's tone will be as we are treated to a variety of things happening: people using typewriters in a room; then we cut to a man getting out of a bathtub; we see a rat, who is just a small guy in a rat suit etc. Every single thing we see in the introduction relates in some way to some form of technology. The film seems to have a fascination with using technology in weird and unusual ways. I haven't read the book it's based off of, but from what I've heard, it also conveys unusual and bizarre things in it. This makes it interesting to watch, but I couldn't possibly imagine few directors, other than Gondry, making this film work in any way, even if it ultimately makes little sense. Among the things that I find fascinating and weird at the same time in the film include: throughout the film when objects are thrown and touched, multiple versions of them appear suddenly out of the blue; during the dance, the entire background of the area is blue; the ringer in Colin's room is treated like a bug, and falls apart into little tiny robotic bugs anytime it makes a sound; the two couples, Chick and Alise, and Colin and Chloe (who are getting married), ride in small cars throughout the building in order to get to the wedding; and a man gets in a rocket suit with wings of sorts and goes into the sky, only for him to eventually fall back into the sky, among others.

Much like most of Gondry's films including The Silence of The Sleep and Eternal Spotlight of The Sunshine Mind, this film is more about the fantastical elements, than it is about the actual performances. That said, this film features a fine cast, and most of the actors, including Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, and Omar Sy, are giving good performances. There are many things in this film that are honestly not needed, such as the small man in the rat suit, and the bird human lady at the ice rink. Some of these elements serve the story no purpose and are just there to give the film an even weirder feeling.

About an hour within the film, it takes a tonal shift and becomes more depressing as the wife become sick. This shift comes out of the nowhere, but given the story, it actually works. The lack of technology makes this apparent, as Gondry makes the film's tone bleaker and depressing, with Chloe just about dying. By the end of the film, everything is in black and white, which is done to represent Colin's loss of faith and feelings. One scene in particular, features a nice dangerous bit of music, as Colin chases his shadow down the road back home.

Aside from a few scenes, this film is never really boring. I can't really recommend this film for the average moviegoer, but any film geek, like myself, would probably find it fascinating, even if the film inconsistent in some regards.
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the triumph of fantasy
costello213 September 2013
I read the book first,and after a few months I saw the movie. what I liked best in the book was in the movie too: the fun,the love of life,the music,the mockery about Sartre,the criticism towards religion. And Gondry added his touch: the visual effects are great,without CGI. Another funny thing is presenting the mouse as a nice animal,so we can appreciate how he helps the characters and how they like him. Maybe the illness part is a bit too long,but as I told to a friend,Illness and death are a part of life,Arne't they? I also liked a lot the technology shown in 1946 Paris,as if we could see the works for the Halles area and the underground lines passing . There are some cruelties in the movie,but I think they're justified by the tone of fable. Great actors too,very well assorted.
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only for Boris Vian lovers
btodorov1 September 2013
American know-it-all's who have never read Boris Vian should not even think of commenting the movie. Yes, Vian is an extravagant author, his books do not make too much sense and some people deservedly consider him a snob. But, snob or not, he was a phenomenon of his own and he has his huge following of admirers who see in him a major star in the post-war French, and European, culture. This movie is made with love and respect for Vian's style, panache and craziness: he would have loved it. If you are not a Vian admirer, do not waste your time watching this movie: you would not even come close to it.

Hats off to the designer, Stephane Rozenbaum: one of the most amazing visual concepts ever!
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Gondry's surreal worldview craves your attention, and its hard to resist such an overflow of creativity and imagination
dipesh-parmar15 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
'Mood Indigo' is a new Parisian love story by French director Michael Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep, Be Kind Rewind, The Green Hornet). The film is based on the 1947 book "L'Écume des Jours" by Boris Vian, who was also a singer-songwriter, jazz trumpeter and all-round cool dude.

Set in Paris, France, 'Mood Indigo' travels between the 1940s, the present and a lo- fi/sci-fi future. Colin (Romain Duris) is a wealthy inventor, he lives with his friend Nicolas (Omar Sy) who is a lawyer and chef, in a converted rail carriage suspended between two buildings. His best friend Chick (Gad Emaleh) introduces him to Chloé (Audrey Tautou), a romance blossoms.

Vian provides the perfect form of inspiration, Gondry's visual flair and surreal box of tricks is irresistibly conceived. From the opening scene we see rows of typists typing away on typewriters that move along without stopping, pianos that make cocktails, a TV chef who can reach through the screen to hand you ingredients, a dance style that turns your legs to rubber, to cranes lifting spaceships around Paris to give the best views of the city.

Its an overwhelming experience, especially the opening 30 minutes. Duris, Tautou and Sy do well to draw you back into reality, of sorts. Their performances are as breezy and whimsical as everything around them, but the mood isn't always so colourful, especially when Chloe's health suffers. Sy's character didn't sit too comfortably, his eager to please servant/chef and occasional lawyer is a cringeworthy throwback to outdated stereotyping.

'Mood Indigo' only just avoids the pretentious pitfalls which many films of this ilk can get sucked into, it often lapses into moments when such surreal inventiveness should be reined in, its occasionally overindulgent and a little precious. But Gondry's manifestations of Colin's experiences and feelings into physical forms is impressive, creating a surreal worldview which craves your attention, and its hard to resist such an overflow of creativity and imagination.
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The spirit of filmmaking.
Sergeant_Tibbs2 March 2014
It's been a long time since I've been acquainted with Michel Gondry. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep are two of my all-time favourite films. Be Kind Rewind was an unfortunate misfire but I already warmly welcome his style. However, I've never seen him quite so unrestrained like this. Mood Indigo is a truly fantasy world. No dream, no drugs, and nothing is how you'd expect. Not even dancing, not even a handshake. To say the world of Mood Indigo is surreal and absurd is an understatement and no words can quite grasp the chaos on screen. It's like an R-rated Dr. Seuss. Like Gilliam's Brazil. But, it's an absolute delight. Things may not make sense at any point, but it's not about symbolism, it's about expressionism. The characters are deeply human, and that's what counts. All these inventions, twists, obscurities all about emotion. And Mood Indigo constantly had me bellying with laughter or sinking an anchor in my stomach when tragedy strikes even when I wasn't sure what was happening.

That's the spirit of filmmaking really, to feel how the characters are feeling, and this film achieves it admirably. But at times it is so dense that its hard to keep up. The special effects and production design are wonderful, but the way it's shot in HD does sometimes nullify its effects and brings us back to reality in a way it doesn't want (I would've preferred Gondry to not have his cameo). Sometimes the cast can't even keep up with it. I really wasn't sure about the cast at first. They're familiar faces, but they didn't seem to suit the tone, plus they felt too old. However, with the film's dark twist in the second half, so dark the film turns black and white, it did become apparent that these cast members fit this melancholic side of the world. I wish it wasn't so bloated in characters and was more restrained like The Science of Sleep. The great soundtrack definitely adds to its rich atmosphere too. I do hope this film will stick with me like his two best films. It may be manic, but it's thoroughly charming. Not Gondry's best but his best in a long while.

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As inventive, sweet and sombre as a Duke Ellington song.
shawneofthedead22 January 2014
Anyone familiar with Michel Gondry's recent Hollywood films would be gobsmacked by Mood Indigo, a lovely but utterly surrealist twist on an old tale. It's hard to imagine the director of The Green Hornet and Be Kind Rewind putting together something quite as odd and delicate as this - although those who remember the heady swirl and triumph of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind will be better able to adjust to Gondry's blithely strange take on Boris Vian's 1947 novel L'Écume Des Jours (Froth On The Daydream).

Colin (Romain Duris) is happy, healthy and wealthy enough not to have to work. He spends his days chatting with his best friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh) and lawyer/mentor/buddy Nicolas (Omar Sy), and inventing cheerful little contraptions like his 'pianocktail' - a piano wired to brew a cocktail out of the music it plays. At a party, he meets Chloé (Audrey Tautou), and they dance and romance their way into marriage. All is wonderful until Chloé falls ill: a water lily is growing in her lungs, and the only way she can be treated - to be surrounded with fresh flowers everyday - is prohibitively expensive for Colin and his dwindling coffers.

Mood Indigo is, in a word, delightful. If it had been filmed in a completely straightforward way, with Chloé suffering from a far less exotic ailment, the movie would be boring - its plot thin and predictable. But, because the romance between Colin and Chloé unfolds in a universe in which doorbells clatter noisily to life and sunbeams turn into solid threads of white light, it feels bright, fresh and endlessly charming. The surrealist bent of this cinematic universe - one that hums to the jazz of Duke Ellington (whose songs provide both the English title of the film and Chloé's name) - adds a touch of very welcome magic to the love story. It's the kind of glorious flight of fancy that one hardly ever encounters in romantic comedies these days, except in painfully manufactured chunks.

The film showcases an enchanting array of offbeat ideas: from the constantly rotating typing pool that tells the story even as we watch it on screen, through to the pet mouse (played by actor Sacha Bourdo in a mouse costume) that has free run of Colin's house. As Nicolas' elaborate meals waltz across the table and everyone's legs bend and elongate for the most fashionable dance of the moment, it's incredible to think that the film - impressive, breathtaking production design and all - was made on a meagre budget (by Hollywood standards) of approximately US$26 million.

It's true that the characters feel somewhat underwritten: the supporting characters, in particular, exist only to fill their appointed roles, such as Chick's expensive and all-consuming obsession with celebrity intellectual Jean-Sol Partre (a sly reference, of course, to Vian's own philosopher friend, Jean-Paul Sartre). But the cast is good enough to make up for it. Sy and Elmaleh are wonderfully droll, especially when Chick and Nicolas meet their own respective love interests in the form of Alise (Aïssa Maïga) and Isis (Charlotte Le Bon).

More importantly, Duris and Tautou are a gift: they look great on screen, of course, but they also share a sweet, believable chemistry that helps gloss over the deficiencies of the script. Tautou is so effervescent that her charm remains intact even when her character is forced into the role of a sickly invalid in the second half of the film. Duris treads the fine line between comedy and tragedy with ease, exuding joy and also misery as Colin's life takes an unexpected turn for the better - and then, invariably, the worse.

Many viewers might be turned off by the endless inventiveness showcased in Mood Indigo, yearning instead for a more grounded story and characters who are less flighty and feather-light than the ones we meet. But it's hard to argue with the many and various delights of Gondry's film, many of which are purely cinematic. What other film would dare to take a race to the altar very literally indeed, or bleed quietly into monochrome when a character's heart breaks?
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Someone needs to put Gondry back on a leash
It_Is_Minus_916 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
By now, you pretty much know what you're getting into when you watch a Michel Gondry film. Insanely innovative visuals and whimsical situations with really emotional moments, right?

Well, that works when it's service of a story. But here, in MOOD INDIGO, his style has gone off the rails. It's Gondry-ness for Gondry-ness sake. I had a hard time following the narrative because it was wall-to-wall eye candy with no rhyme or reason or purpose for existing. That's cute when you're an 11 year old who wants to watch something stylish on the surface because you think "it's edgy." But for us adults who actually want to get invested in a movie, in the lives of the characters, it's a pain in the ass.

Let's see-- there's a man in a mouse suit who everyone pretends is a real mouse, there's a claymation doorbell that's constantly getting squashed like a bug, there's a cooking show host that talks to people and hands them food through the TV. But is there a story? HELL NO.

It's only when the movie makes a pretty drastic changeover in style and mood that it actually tells a story and begins to resemble something more along the lines of Eternal Sunshine. But by the time it gets going, it's too late. And I had stopped caring.
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Patricia75622 September 2013
I've seen some very bad movies in my life, but I've always watched them until the end. For the first time in my life after half an hour I couldn't stand this film any longer and walked off. All the visual jokes and trickery were much too much to bear, there were so many of them, all the time, about everything, that instead of being amusing, playful, surrealistic, became annoying, boring, interfering too much with the plot that perhaps being so paper thin needed all that visual to make a story, I wouldn't know I stopped watching it after half an hour that felt like being on date with an irritating, chatterbox, overactive, smiling all the time, perhaps high with cocaine guy, you don't want to be there!! First I thought: " This film is a bit unusual, OK let's see" Than: "….it can be that much all the time let's make an effort"….and after half an hour I realize that it actually was like that all the time!!! It was a struggle to watch, extremely tedious.It is a pity for the actors since I like them a lot, but this... I wouldn't recommend it.
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Captivating by its surrealistic beauty
Ellie_k24 November 2013
This film is so captivating by its surrealistic beauty. There were quite a few moments in which I felt completely immersed into the world which unfolded before my eyes.

Regardless of the surrealistic interpretation of everyday life, all emotions and the essence of everything that happens to the main characters is so realistic - all the joy, the moments of shyness, the starving for affection, the soreness of despair, the unfaithfulness - all of those are pretty real and everyone can recall having felt some of those ways in certain times of their lives.

Moreover this film takes the audience through a blend of emotions going from one extreme to another and revealing both the beauty of true happiness and the bitterness of absolute sorrow.

I highly recommend this film to everyone who is looking for a worthwhile experience.
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A wonderful crazy movie
tiinamalm8 August 2014
I saw this film originally during a long flight. I just loved it and once back home, tried to find it in stores. Was now successful and watched it the second time. yes, this is the kind of film I would have loved already when I went to college -however, at the time, there were hardly any surrealistic movies at market, at least in a small country (except Fellinis). I fell in love with this movie again. There were so many things and levels to make you things about yourself and your imagination, even parts of your dreams. I would recommend it to anyone working in psychiatry -as well as friends of fantasia, may it be books, comics or movies. I did not feel it was boring even the second time watching, and that should be counted as a plus to a movie.
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Couldn't take it
kkcaroe15 September 2014
I suffered this movie for the first hour. I saw it in a local art house. There were 10 people in the audience. After 30 minutes, the first 3 left. 15 minutes later 2 more left. After and hour, I left. It was the stupidest film I've seen in years. Waste of time.I get there is a book that I hadn't read but, still, the movie should speak for itself. I didn't find anything about the first hour to be clever or creative. It seemed like a random mix of shots and angles by someone on an acid trip. I don't pretend to be some kind of hot shot movie expert but, as a member of our area film society, I do see about 40 films per year. I've seen good films and bad films. This was just a stupid film.I hated it.
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Surrealist fans will love this
estebangonzalez1023 July 2014
"This feeling of solitude is unfair. I demand to fall in love too!"

No one does surrealism better than the French, but unfortunately I'm not into surrealism and I usually have a hard time enjoying this genre in general. Mood Indigo is probably more surreal than any other film you've seen before, and despite the fantastic visuals and rich imagery used I had a hard time engaging with the characters and its lack of a strong narrative story. I was a huge fan of director, Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and despite the surrealism in that film I enjoyed the strong narrative along with the romance, but I guess a lot of that had to do with Charlie Kaufman's involvement in the writing of the script. Mood Indigo kind of feels like that short scene where Jim Carrey's character was sharing his memory from his childhood as a small scaled adult, with the exception that in Mood Indigo the entire film is like that. There are many surreal elements, like a rat sized man dressed in a rat costume running around the house, a door bell that takes a life of its own every time someone rings the bell, and there's a piano that makes cocktail drinks depending on the notes you play, among many other things (and did I mention how people's legs stretch like rubber every time they started dancing?). Mood Indigo is a great title, although I like the sound of the original French title, L'écume des jours, but the English title fits the film well because moods are a predominant element here. It is a unique film, but one that I had a hard time connecting with and got little enjoyment out of it.

Despite not having a strong narrative, I enjoyed the performances in this film. Romain Duris plays Colin, a wealthy bachelor who falls in love with Audrey Tautou's character, Chloe. They quickly fall in love and everything around them seems to blossom. That is until Chloe develops a strange illness when a flower begins to grow in her lungs. Colin will spend his fortune and do what it takes in order to save her, but little by little the happiness and brightness of his home begins to lose its intensity. Other strong performances came from Omar Sy who played Colin's overly enthusiast chef and who prepares some strange dishes with the help of a TV cook, and then there is also Colin's best friend, Chick, played by Gad Elmaleh who is in a relationship as well and is always hanging out at his home. They all give strong performances and help set the surreal tone of the film with their energetic deliveries. It was great to see Omar Sy again because I really enjoyed his performance in The Intouchables. He was probably my favorite character in this film.

Ultimately the film wore me out and I had a hard time sticking with the entire story because I wished it had a stronger narrative story. I never really cared for the characters here because Gondry was more focused on the images and the fantastical elements rather than on telling a story. This is as close as you get to watching a live action cartoon so if that is what the audience is looking for they will be pleased, but it just wasn't a film for me.
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Bizarre, irritating, compulsive and ultimately depressing
writeus-130 December 2014
Imagine Wes Anderson directing a film while under the influence of psychedelic drugs and not in a good way. You will then you get a feel for this movie.

Ever since Amelie I have had expectations of every film in which Audrey stars. This must be the worst.

Find some way to preview a bit of this film before buying it. Don't be taken in by the blurb on the DVD case. And don't be seduced by enthusiasts waxing lyrically on this site.

I had a reputation in my family for choosing duff films. I have just exceeded myself. Be warned.
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An acid trip may be required to watch this piece of fluffy crap!
theSachaHall13 December 2014
Wow! I'm still scratching my head as to how I can articulate MOOD INDIGO in a way that neither discourages you from the experience nor encourages you enough to take the plunge into a fantastical world of stop motion animation, digital special effects and mechanical effects that you will detest (and me) afterwards. In a nutshell, MOOD INDIGO is like THE WIZARD OF OZ met the Monty Python comedy group somewhere on the yellow brick road and decided to rewrite 'Wolly Winker and the Focolate Chactory' with Michael Gondry (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND) in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Gondry's adaption of Boris Vian's cult novel 'L'Ecume des Jours' is an exhaustive tale filled with tant d'indulgence that it struggles to deliver a tone and tempo that allows the viewer to find a balance between what is seen and heard on screen and the story expressed. And that therein, lies the problem: the non-stop whimsical flights-of-fancy such as the pianocktail, walking doorbell, mini mouse-man and the curved dining table on skates distract too much from the emotion of this tragic romance.

MOOD INDIGO tells the story of wealthy, bohemian inventor Colin (Romain Duris) who lives in a rooftop, trailer-esque apartment overlooking Paris with roommate, chef and lawyer, Nicolas (Omar Sy). Bemoaning the lack of a lover with Nicolas and 'Patre' fanatic pal Chick (Gad Elmaleh) over lunch, Colin decides to attend a party at Isis' (Charlotte Le Bon) house where he meets 'a girl like a Duke Ellington tune' named Chloé (Audrey Tautou). After wooing her with dancing, ice-skating and a trip across Paris in a floating cloud car, the two fall madly in love and get married.

The honeymoon, filmed in split-screen with sunshine on one side and rain on the other acts as a transitional point to a more sombre, monochromatic setting as Chloé becomes afflicted by a dangerous lung condition after swallowing a water lily. Again, Gondry fails to connect the audience emotionally to the denouement, preferring to use evolving set designs to represent fluctuating character moods and a 'six month later' title card to fast forward their declining situation.

In order to pay for the ongoing and expensive medical treatments and surgery proposed by Chloé's doctor (played by Gondry himself), Colin (who is now broke), is forced to give up his bohemian lifestyle and take on a number of jobs to save his dying wife including one in a munitions factory. This symbolic metaphor for Chloé's death knell is also heightened visually by the muting of colour to monochrome.

Although MOOD INDIGO was a struggle from the get go, it definitely has an appeal attractive to selective audiences. That audience however, just happens to not include me.

You can catch more at my Twitter handle theSachaHall and The Hollywood News.
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Annoyingly twee mess of a film
johnnymurphy1514 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
After making 'Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind', a film that had heart, creativity, was emotionally engaging as well as occasionally funny, Michel Gondry has been getting steadily worse over the years. 'The Green Hornet' was further proof in my opinion that Gondry is a one film wonder and is better suited to music videos. I would like to think this film would prove me wrong, but it didn't. It just irritated me with it's quirky and overly random ideas and a playfully twee tone which I have grown to hate.

Romain Duris stars as the wealthy bachelor Colin who lives in a converted train where pretty much anything turns into an animation. He has a live in lawyer who is also a chef named Nicolas (Omar Sy). He also has a friend named Chick (Gad Elmaleh) who has an unhealthy obsession with an existential philosopher Jean Sol Partre (obviously a play on the French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre). In his house, he has a door bell that comes to life when someone rings and it crawls around the room until someone steps on it. Also, people's legs go all noodley when they dance, Colin's shoes run away from him, there is a piano that makes cocktails and many more. There is not a single scene that goes by without multiple visual quirks or whacky, random events which just happen for no reason. It is as if Gondry made an endless list of any daft idea he can think of and decided to cram every single one of them into this film to annoy his audience into boredom. It is very tiresome after the first 20 minutes, and most of them are not funny. Why some members of the audience were laughing at every little thing that happens really escapes me. All these ideas did not add much to the characters or the story much which for me starved the film of any emotion when Colin meets Chloe (Audrey Tautau), falls in love and then goes on a date in what looks like a space ship attached to a crane. I found all the falling in love parts just mainly annoying and airy fairy. Too much twee makes John want to smash the screen into silence, just like Colin wants to smash a radio into silence when he hears a cheesy power ballad.

Later in the film, it does take a progressively darker tone as Chloe accidentally inhales a water lily which starts to grow in her lung. When things go all sad and Colin has to work extremely random jobs to fund Chloe's recovery, I did not feel much in the way of emotion, I just felt mainly annoyance that these daft ideas were still happening in rapid fire pace. When the film ends, I just felt exhausted. That was enough quirkiness for me for one day (Although because of my occupation, I had to sit through this 3 times). Also I was surprised by the downer ending. As the relationship gets more difficult between Colin and Chloe as well as everyone else in the film, the hues become gradually more pallid until the final scenes where they are black and white. Some of the scenes looked very good and colourful, but for me, more suited to a music video.

I feel the film was trying to say something more deeper and meaningful. Was it some kind of dream like allegorical tale of life. It may be vague, but it was all I can come up with as I was so distracted by all the stupid stuff. Sure a lot of hard work has gone into making all the animation and effects happen on screen, but it doesn't mean I have to like it! It does not give me great pleasure to say that this is in my opinion yet another mis-step from Gondry. I don't think he will make another great film on par with Eternal Sunshine. I'm sure he will still attract a devoted legion of fans who are into the quirky and the twee, but I shall not make much of an effort in future.
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Too Arsty for Me
3xHCCH12 June 2014
The basic story seems simple enough. Boy lives a charmed magical life with his outlandish inventions. Boy meets the girl of his dreams and marries her right away. Girl falls ill with a mysterious ailment, and boy does everything in order to save her.

In the hands of noted French director Michel Gondry however, this tale is taken to surreal directions, fantastic and absurd. It was obviously going to be an art film from the get-go with the out-of-this-world imagery that gets weirder and weirder as the mood of the film turns from happy to somber. There were disturbing images of blood and gore, which felt misplaced in this film whose general mood was romance.

Audrey Tautou is of course a familiar name, playing the ill-fated Chloe. This role is somewhat reminiscent of her past roles. Romain Duris plays Colin rather unevenly, as you cannot really read his true personality of his character. Omar Sy, who was recently seen in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" plays Colin's faithful friend with the flair for preparing fancy food, and dancing with his rubbery legs to jazz music.

This will not be an easy watch for mainstream movie audiences. This is strictly for the art-house crowd. I read that this was based on a beloved French book and fans of the book liked how this film brought their favorite story to life. However, for those unfamiliar with the book, the two hours plus running time will be unbearably slow.
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