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‘L’Ecume des Jours’

by Kaori Shoji

Lovingly crafted by Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), modern cinema’s DIY auteur, “L’Ecume des Jours” is a celebration of the nicely weird. Gondry has always loved and nurtured society’s attractive misfits, wonderful people who happen to be allergic to office cubicles or one-night stands. Colin (Romain Duris, “Populaire”) has these symptoms and more, but he’s also sweet, generous and rich. So when he meets and falls for Chloe (Audrey Tautou), he proposes immediately and stages an adorable wedding.

Trouble in paradise comes in the form of Chloe’s sudden illness. She has a water lily growing in her lungs, and the only way to keep her alive is to surround her bed with fresh flowers on a 24-hour basis. Colin pours his entire fortune into procuring flora, and attempts to find a job with disastrous results.

Adapted from Boris Vian’s 1947 novel, this visually striking film basks in the avant-garde spirit of the postwar Parisian arts scene. Gondry channels Vian’s quirkiness and slightly violent whimsicality that’s not quite black but a deeper shade of blue. Sheer cinematic bliss, done up in crepe paper.

For a chance to win a Japanese translation of the original novel, visit jtimes.jp/film.