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Mood Indigo(L'écume des jours)

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France, Belgium · 2013
2h 11m
Director Michel Gondry
Starring Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh, Omar Sy
Genre Drama, Fantasy

The surreal and poetic tale of Colin, an idealistic and inventive young man, and Chloé, a young woman who seems like the physical embodiment of the eponymous Duke Ellington tune. Their idyllic marriage is turned on its head, however, when Chloé falls sick with a water lily growing in her lung.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


Variety by Boyd van Hoeij

The film frequently privileges art direction over emotion, and a constant sense of wonder based on visuals alone proves impossible to sustain over the lengthy 130-minute runtime.


Hitfix by Drew McWeeny

While I thought it was gently moving at times, it feels like Gondry is hoping for a much more powerful impact, and the film just doesn't swing hard enough to make that happen.


Slant Magazine by Jesse Cataldo

Michel Gondry bungles his adaptation of the Boris Vian novel by indulging in homespun craftwork at the expense of plot and character detail.


The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

Gondry’s film is really a huge Rube Goldberg machine, full of lights and buzzers and levers that ping and whistle endearingly but are connected to nothing and serve no greater function in the larger apparatus.

75 by Jordan Hoffman

Despite being clever and crafty it can’t break out of the curiosity shop. It’s the finest diorama in there, but something to admire, linger over then move past.


The Hollywood Reporter by Jordan Mintzer

An exhausting pièce d’indulgence from the veteran video/feature director, who can never quite shape all the bric-a-brac, not to mention an all-star Gallic cast, into a workable whole.


The Dissolve by Nathan Rabin

Gondry’s latest demands a high tolerance for whimsy, and will undoubtedly prove anathema to his skeptics. Yet for those willing to abandon logic, suspend disbelief, and give themselves over to Gondry’s crazy, deeply immersive world of play, the result is a wildly inventive head film that’s mood-altering and mind-expanding in its own right.


McClatchy-Tribune News Service by Roger Moore

It’s well-cast, but Tautou and Duris don’t set off the sparks and create the longing that would give this tragic romance some heft. Everybody else takes a back seat to the inspired visuals.

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