Mood Indigo

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This will probably be difficult to believe for some of you, but we walk into every movie hoping it will be the best movie. We may criticize a trailer or point out early concerns, but once we sit down and the movie starts digitally unspooling before our eyes our hope every single time is to experience something fantastic. When a film succeeds on that front we shout it from the highest virtual rooftops, but that isn’t always the outcome. The pure flip-side of this of course are the movies we leave absolutely despising. Usually the films in this group aren’t exactly surprises — think Blended, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Sex Tape, Hercules — and while we hoped for better we ended up with pretty much what we expected. But sometimes the movies we expected more from end up being major disappointments too. A quick poll of the staff revealed a pretty varied list of films fitting this description, some of which are viewed as unqualified successes by the rest of us. Keep reading to see ten of the movies that left us unsatisfied, underwhelmed and ultimately disappointed.

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Mood Indigo feels like a line in the sand. For the anti-appreciates of Michel Gondry‘s style, it could almost be taken as a dare. “You don’t like twee whimsy? HERE’S EVEN MORE OF IT.” For fans of the director, it comes across as a test. “You love this cotton candy stop-motion quirk? We will shove it down your throat for two hours (an hour and a half in the US cut).” In previous Gondry films, flights of fancy came within specific settings, like dreamworlds or sweded movies. The entire universe of Mood Indigo is a cacophony of magical doohickeys, alien practices and other phenomena that go both unexplained and uncommented-upon. Alarm bells skitter around on insect legs. People go on dates in flying cloud machines. When they dance, their bodies contort into weird, often unsettling ways. A contraption called a pianocktail mixes drinks based on what keys you hit on a piano. And so on and so forth. None of this fantasticalness is of Gondry’s invention. The film is a faithful adaptation of French writer Boris Vian‘s 1947 novel “L’Écume des Jours” (“Froth on the Daydream” or “Foam of the Daze“). All this weirdness springs from Vian’s imagination — Gondry and his crew are merely the enthusiastic translators from page to screen. If nothing else, the film made me want to check out the book and see just what kind of madness can come from the uninhibited possibilities of the written word.

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Mood Indigo trailer

Back away from your fluffy DVD collection, unhand that Cheshire Cat-smiling theatrical poster and give that cardboard box some breathing room — it’s time for us to hit you with a big, fresh smack of charm and colors and Audrey Tautou just like, totally dying. Michel Gondry is back, baby, and he’s got an extremely “Michel Gondry”-looking film to entertain his (adorably) rabid fanbase, all with extra Tautou sweetness to rope in the Amelie obsessives out there. It’s sort of like if drugs were made out of cotton candy and gentle nap time dreams. And, yes, that’s a very good thing. Looking more like the direct descendent of his The Science of Sleep (a film that I will champion until the day I die, if only for the yarn ponies) than a close sibling of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Mood Indigo has Gondry again trafficking in charm, a word that will be used ad nauseum to describe the film, because it’s really the only one that fits. Based on Boris Vian‘s beloved novel of the same name, Mood Indigo sees Tautou and Romain Duris (he’s dreamy) meeting cute, falling in love, hitching up and dealing with imminent death. Wait, what? We’ll get to that, but until then, let’s just soak in all the Gondry-esque charm in the latest Mood Indigo trailer, okay? It’s sweet, we promise. Also, this trailer graces us with perhaps the most definitive and on-the-nose Gondry line ever: “I demand to fall in love, too!” Perhaps we will all fall in love with Mood Indigo, together and after the break.

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Mood Indigo

Though most of the people who read this site probably don’t speak French, you’re likely all going to want to watch the French trailer for Michel Gondry’s new film L’écume des jours (or Mood Indigo when we get a trailer in English) anyway. There really isn’t much talking here, and Gondry’s work is so visual that you’ll get the gist of what’s going on anyway. And Audrey Tautou… well, she does adorable in any language.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Like any great franchise that’s been in your heart for many years (or just over one year), it keeps coming back whether you want it to or not. Always with more big questions. Not always with more answers. Maybe we can get Damon Lindelof to write this, too. It could use a good rewrite now and again. We begin this evening with a look at Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo, a film that brings Gondry back to the world of the surreal. It’s got a delightful could car in which Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou ride. Adorable.

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