Brothers David Foenkinos and Stéphane Foenkinos co-direct an adaptation of “La Delicatesse,” David’s bestselling novel, resulting in a modest, understated Audrey Tautou-starring romance that’s chaste but never truly deadly. Ever the laconic pixie-dream gamine, Tautou plays a widow who emerges from despondency after her eyes fall onto a bedraggled Swedish coworker; an odd mingling of melodrama and whimsy follows. There’s tragedy and sight gags, romantic gestures and romantic fantasy and not a few unsatisfying plot complications, yet the result is more enervating than heart stirring, as if a French producer saw in the source novel something like “(500) jours de l’été” with Tautou a Gallic Zooey Deschanel with intermittent “Amélie”-like voiceovers. With François Damiens, Pio Marmaï, Melanie Bernier, Bruno Todeschini, Joséphine de Meaux, Monique Chaumette, Ariane Ascaride, Christophe Malavoy. 108m. (Ray Pride)
“Delicacy” opens Friday at Landmark Century and Landmark Renaissance.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published later this year.