Delicacy (‘La Délicatesse’)

COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 48min (French with subtitles)

STARRING: Audrey Tautou, François Damiens, Pio Marmaï

Handle with care: Tautou

Nathalie and François (Tautou and Marmaï) are young, fetching and mad about each other in their bubble of married bliss, a state of such fragile perfection it feels fated to end. When it does, Nathalie is bereft, which dainty Tautou plays in poignantly muted tones. Scroll forward three years and Nathalie is isolated, buried in office work and with a married boss (Bruno Todeschini) who is in love with her. She doesn’t return the emotion. In fact, she seems to have few emotions left.


Working from David Foenkinos’s adaptation of his 2009 novel La Délicatesse, co-directors (and brothers) David and Stéphane Foenkinos handle this rocky terrain with such fluid ease that the strangeness of what happens next — which could have felt affected and forced — seems natural and charming. That’s partly because Nathalie isn’t a lady who should be alone. Then, too, the new man in her life (Damiens as Markus) is so easy to warm to. In any case, they’re quite the pair: a study in contrasts and a gentle celebration of how healing love can be.