Review: ‘Delicacy’ (PG) ★ ★ ★

AFTER Nathalie (Audrey Tautou) loses her husband in a road accident, she spends three years working in an office and living a solitary private life obsessed with memories.

Conveying this information consumes the first third of David Foenkinos’ film from his own novel, a process offering little excitement. The film needs something to leaven the mix.

Nathalie’s Swedish colleague Markus (Francois Damiens), big, bluff, balding and not oversupplied with wit or assertiveness, provides the impetus for “Delicacy” to get moving. It’s progress is staccato. No matter. The drama begins to acquire flavour. The CEO of the company, with the hots for Nathalie, proposes to further that ambition by transferring Markus to Stockholm branch and giving Nathalie a pay rise at head office that she will not be able to refuse.

There’s more to this French rom-com than that dramatic thread. Nathalie’s emotional state remains fragile despite the passage of time since Francois died and Markus’s gentle friendship that delivers no threats of passion and its usual consequences.

Both principal actors know what the film is about and do it justice. Bruno Tedeschi as the CEO and Josephine de Meaux as Nathalie’s best girl chum are effective. The locations are agreeable. When the leavened mix emerges fully baked, “Delicacy” proves itself a digestible small-scale human story, moving image as comfort food. Let’s face it, that’s why we go to the movies so often !

At Greater Union

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