It’s been some time since Michel Gondry dove into fantastical storytelling—his last two narrative films, The Green Hornet and The We and the I, were more straightforward in style, the former a big-budget action-hero flick and the latter a coming-of-age drama. Mood Indigo, picked up by Drafthouse Films for U.S. distribution, appears to be a return to the French director’s earlier works, a romantic tale starring Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris as a pair of lovers facing uncertainty with whimsy.
Based on the 1947 novel Froth on the Daydream by Boris Vian and set in a “charmingly surreal” Paris, Chloé and Colin fall in love only to discover that she has a terrible illness. After a flower begins to grow within her lungs, Colin discovers that the only way to cure her is to surround her with flowers at all times. The French trailer for the film was released last year, but for those of us in need of subtitles, the U.S. version has finally arrived to give us a little more context.
There’s a whole cornucopia of aesthetic elements on display, and based on some of the early reviews (it premiered abroad at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival as well as the Fantastic Fest in Austin last year), this could be the film’s undoing. At the very least, though, the consistently wonderful Tautou will likely make it a film worth seeking out.