July 31, 2014 3:56 pm

Mood Indigo – film review

Michel Gondry’s film wallows in syrupy surreal whimsy
Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris in 'Mood Indigo'

Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris in 'Mood Indigo'

Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo is a French kissing cousin – even (locked so close in style and content) a French-kissing cousin – of the same director’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But don’t all rush at once. Unlike me you may have adored the Jim Carrey/Kate Winslet comical-fantastical romance. The new film intensifies, even caricatures, the older film’s whimsicality.

No reality is allowed to sit still before being goosed by surreality. Wealthy Romain Duris lives in a house crammed with archly amusing inventions, from a “pianocktail” (different notes or chords make different drinks) to tables and trays that locomote your food. Enter Audrey Tautou, an actress easy to regard as an invention herself: French cinema’s Mademoiselle Winsome. She decants fresh litres of syrupy whimsy until we cry: “When!” By then it is too late; we have drowned in and with the movie. Based on a 1947 Boris Vian novel, L’Écume des Jours (Froth on the Daydream), the film may have been for Gondry a labour of love. To which the only just comment is a well-known play title by Shakespeare.

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