Sunday, 6 November 2011


In many ways this is an attractive, often funny, and likable film. Based on graphic novels by Jacques Tardi, this is a good cinematic interpretation of them. Our protagonist, Adele, is a feisty no-nonsense modern (1911) woman who goes boldly where most men would fear to tread and returns to write about her amazing adventures which are best-sellers. She's played to vivacious perfection by Louise Bourgoin and is surrounded by a gallery of French grotesques -big noses, etc.

Just as a pterodactyl emerges from a 150 million year-old egg to pterrorise (sorry) Ptaris (sorry again), Adele is in Egypt robbing a tomb of a mummy for reasons which become apparent later. This is a great opening, full of terrific scenes. Alas, after that the pacing slows down. While not without its pleasures -Adele's succession of failed attempts to break someone out of prison, the dead sister with a hairpin through her head who is kept in bed at Adele's apartment- it lacks narrative drive which all contrives to create a languid impression which taints the whole film and there were times when I felt myself dozing off.

There's a lot to like here, many vivid imaginative touches, wry humour, a touch of French cynicism, it almost, but just doesn't, succeed. Still, give it a try, there really is much to enjoy. 

 The inclusion of this image does not mean your blogger approves of smoking.

Mme Bougoin is a definite improvement on the graphic novel version of the character.

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