Parents' Guide to

A Very Long Engagement

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Beautiful WWI love story with gruesome battle scenes.

Movie R 2004 133 minutes
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A Very Long Engagement is one of those films that gets even better with repeated viewing. Besides being the film that reunited the director and star of Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Audrey Tautou, respectively), it's many film genres rolled into one: an unsanitized war film, an engaging detective story, and, ultimately, a transcendent love story. That Jeunet is able to make these many levels in genre, story, and style look easy (as well as visually stunning) stands as a testament to his achievement.

While the first viewing is enjoyable enough, the story twists, turns, and jumps can leave you temporarily disoriented; this is one of those wonderful movies where new discoveries are made each time you see it. While the battle scenes will be considered gruesome by some, they are unsparingly shown to make the audience understand what would drive these five soldiers to the desperate acts of injuring themselves in order to be sent home and away from their hellish circumstances.

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