Mood Indigo–Director Michel Gondry Adds a French Film to Duke Ellington’s Classic


Not having read the Boris Vian novel, I can’t tell you how true this film is to it, but taken on its own terms, it’s funny, mind-bending and touching.

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Nominated for three Cesars, the first part of “L’Ecume des Jours,” or “Froth on the Daydream” is an ecstatic and surreal depiction of the love of two wonderful young people–the luminous Chloe (Audrey Tatou) and the handsome Colin (Romain Duris)–for each other and of the loyal friendship of their superb chef Nicolas (Omar Sy.)

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The great Duke’s music, especially “Mood Indigo,” pervades the film along with some really fine additional music by Etienne Charry. Imaginative, fantastical storytelling characterizes this part

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as Colin’s pianocktail makes drinks according to the music his friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh)  plays

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and legs stretch out to dance and skate.

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Somewhere around the film’s middle, Chloe develops a water lily in her lung. This can only be cured by surrounding her with flowers, which Colin does.

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Then, except for an outrageous boffo visual at the end, much of the stream of comic imagery slows down and reality sets in. I for one, prefer the fantasy, but you decide—worth seeing if you can catch it.  Part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Rendez-vous With French Cinema in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at 144 West 65th Street. Senior tickets are $9, the seats are super comfy, there are no commercials and only a few interesting previews.

 

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