Micmacs à tire-larigot, 2009

Micmacs à tire-larigot, or Micmacs as it’s known in the English-speaking world, is a whimsical movie centering on the story of a man named Bazil (Dany Boon) whose father is killed in Africa and who is later accidentally shot in the head. Now stricken with a disability, Bazil finds he has lost his job, his apartment and his possessions, all of which were taken while he was in the hospital.

Bazil eventually finds and joins up with a group of odd characters who live as a family in a house built within a junkyard. They are all unusual people with peculiar talents, like Calculator (Marie-Julie Baup) a mathematical savant, Buster (Dominique Pinon) a world record holding human cannonball, Tiny Pete (Michel Crémadès) who creates artistic, moving sculptures, and Elastic Girl (Julie Ferrier) an extremely flexible contortionist, as well as a few others with similar remarkable, if odd, talents.

They welcome Bazil, who finds evidence that a giant French arms company supplied the device that killed his father, and that another enormous French arms company manufactured the bullet lodged in his head. It is decided that the group will exact revenge on the two CEOs of these companies on Bazil’s behalf. It is then the shenanigans begin with a complicated plot of revenge designed to annoy, economically damage, and otherwise cause trouble for the two CEOs and their respective companies.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet returns to the film world several years after his last offering, creating a delightful film, Micmacs, which is full of whimsy, imagination, and love. Like all of his other works, immense effort is put into the color and styling of the production lending it a delicate beauty; it’s almost as though he transforms his films from motion pictures into motion paintings. Superb acting and a witty, original storyline, allow Jeunet to direct this cinematic gem with what has become his trademark level of quality. While it is an admitted bias on my part as a devoted fan of Jeunet’s work, Micmacs is still a movie that can come with the strongest recommendations to viewers who like a bit of whimsy, accompanied by surreal and intense visual effects. The film is a delight and filled with the shenanigans to which the title refers.