A long engagement Sunday (movie)

A Long Engagement Sunday is a Franco – American film directed by Jean – Pierre Jeunet , released in 2004 . It is the cinematographic adaptation of the novel of the same name by Sébastien Japrisot .

In 2005 , the film receives five César , including that of the best actress in a supporting role for Marion Cotillard .


In the trenches of the Somme , during the First World War , five French soldiers are accused of having self-mutilated to escape their duty. Condemned to death by a court martial, they are led to an outpost named Twilight Bingo 1and abandoned to their fate in the no man’s land between the two camps. They are apparently all killed. Among them is Manech, the fiancé of the film’s heroine, a young romantic named Mathilde who does not believe in the death of her lover. If he were dead, she would know it. With this intuition, she conducts her investigation and gradually collects the clues that will lead her to discover what happened that day toTwilight bingo . Using superstitions, she is brought to blow on the dust that veil this dark and mysterious affair. Mathilde meets a private detective, Mr. Pire, who helps him in his research.

Technical sheet

  • French title: A long Sunday of engagement
  • English title: A Very Long Engagement
  • Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet , assisted by David Artur
  • Scenario: Guillaume Laurant and Jean-Pierre Jeunet , after Sébastien Japrisot
  • Director of Photography: Bruno Delbonnel
  • Sets: Aline Bonetto
  • Costumes: Madeline Fontaine
  • Music: Angelo Badalamenti
  • Producers: Francis Boespflug, Bill Gerber, Jean-Louis Monthieux and Fabienne Tsaï
  • Production: 2003 Productions, Warner Bros. France , Tapioca Films, TF1 films productions
  • Digital visual effects: Studio Duboi (Paris)
  • Distribution: Warner Bros
  • Country of origin: France , United States
  • Original language: French
  • Budget: $ 56.6 million
  • Format: Color – 2.35: 1 – Dolby Digital sound
  • Genre: Drama
  • Duration: 134 minutes
  • Release dates:
    •  France , Belgium , French-speaking Switzerland :  
    •  United States :


  • Audrey Tautou : Mathilde
  • Gaspard Ulliel : Manech Langonnet, called “The blueberry”
  • Dominique Pinon : Sylvain
  • Clovis Cornillac : E Benedict class Notre Dame, said “The peasant of the Dordogne”
  • Jérôme Kircher : Corporal Kléber Bouquet, known as “Bastoche”
  • Chantal Neuwirth : Benedict
  • Albert Dupontel : Celestin Poux
  • Denis Lavant : e class Whiner Francis, said “Six under”
  • François Levantal : Thouvenel
  • Jean-Pierre Becker : Daniel Esperanza
  • Dominique Bettenfeld : e class Bassignano Angel says “common law”
  • Jean-Pierre Darroussin : Corporal Benjamin Gordes, known as “Biscotte”
  • Jodie Foster : Élodie Gordes
  • Marion Cotillard : Valentina “Tina” Lombardi
  • André Dussollier : Maître Pierre-Marie Rouvières
  • Ticky Holgado : Germain Pire, the private detective
  • Julie Depardieu : Veronique Passavant
  • Michel Vuillermoz : Little Louis
  • Bouli Lanners : Corporal Chardolot
  • Jean-Paul Rouve : the factor
  • Cheky Karyo : Captain Favorist
  • Jean-Claude Dreyfus : Commander Lavrouye
  • Michel Robin : the old man who visits the battlefield
  • Urbain Cancelier : the priest of the village of Cet Homme
  • Philippe Duquesne : Favart, a soldier in the trenches
  • Thierry Gibault : Lieutenant Estrangin
  • Elina Löwensohn : Günther’s sister
  • Rufus : the Breton
  • Solène Le Péchon : Mathilde at 10 years old
  • Virgil Leclaire : Manech at 13 years old
  • Maud Rayer : me Desrochelles
  • Stéphane Butet : Philippot
  • Marc Faure : the director of the prison
  • Rodolphe Pauly : Jean Desrochelles
  • Myriam Roustan : the coffee waitress
  • Xavier Maly : the companion of Chardolot
  • Sandrine Rigault : Mariette Notre-Dame
  • Till Bahlmann : the German prisoner
  • Jean-Gilles Barbier : the sergeant
  • Louis-Marie Audubert : the gravedigger
  • Marc Robert , Pierre Heitz , Philippe Maymat , Eric Debrosse and Michel Gondoin : the soldiers
  • Marcel Philippot : the bourgeois
  • Pascale Lievyn : the bourgeois
  • Frankie Pain : the owner of the brothel
  • Esther Sironneau : the nurse
  • Stéphanie Gesnel and Frédérique Bel : the prostitutes
  • Jean-Philippe Bèche : Georges Cornu
  • Anaïs Durand : Hélène Pire, the daughter of Germain Pire
  • Florence Thomassin : the narrator (voiceover)
  • Éric Fraticelli (credited Pido): man asking Germain Pire if he seeks Tina Lombardi in Corsica

Not credited

  • Anne Marivin : The prison guard
  • Alexandre Gillet : Himself
  • Frédéric Cerdal : the narrator (voiceover)
  • Isabelle Prigent : a maid


Genesis and development

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The film is adapted from the novel of the same name by Sebastien Japrisot whose rights constitute the minority stake of the Hollywood studio Warner alongside TF1 , Canal + , Tapioca (the production company of Jean-Pierre Jeunet ) and the new company 2003 Production.

Distribution of roles

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Some scenes were shot at the hangar Y de Meudon. The scenes of the Breton village were shot in Locronan (Finistère) and in particular in the gardens of the former presbytery. This garden arranged by the production of the film lasted only one season. The place of residence of Mathilde is Plougrescant (Côtes-d’Armor).

Some Parisian scenes of the movie were filmed in Pontoise (Val-d’Oise), instead of harengerie, because of the aspect of ” xix th century” of the place, the restaurant “Chartier” 2 in the ninth arrondissement of Paris. The trench scenes were shot near Montmorillon (Vienna), on a military site (former NATO field 3 ). The team had dug trenches that are now covered.

Filming locations by department (numerical order) :

  • The Aisne
    • Ribemont
  • Corsica
    • Calvi
  • Cotes d’Armor
    • Plougrescant
    • Pleubian
    • Lezardrieux
  • Finistère
    • Locronan
    • Penmarch
  • Oise
    • Pontpoint
  • Paris
    • Opera Square
    • Halles of Paris
    • Gare de Paris-Nord
  • Vienna
    • Montmorillon
  • Hauts-de-Seine
    • Meudon
  • Val de Marne
    • Nogent-sur-Marne
    • Bry-sur-Marne Studios
  • Val d’Oise
    • Théméricourt
    • Auvers-sur-Oise 4
    • Cergy

Nationality of the film

Although the majority of actors are French and all scenes shot in France , this co-production was considered foreign on November 26, 2004 due to the strong participation of the American company Warner Bros. to the cost of production, which made him lose the right to a future grant from the National Center for Cinematography . The film will nevertheless participate in the César cinema in the general category. With a cost of 45 million euros, it is one of the most expensive “French” films that have ever been produced.

The Council of State finally decided that the film was indeed American, and that it would not have a double nationality, this in spite of the French realization, and the casting with more than 98% French (decision of the Council of Status 2007/283319 of 06 July 2007). The executive producer of the film being largely controlled by the firm Warner, the film was therefore not eligible for a grant of 8 million euros from CNC 5 .



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Box office

Country Box Office No. of weeks TLT 6 Ranking Dated
Global box office $ 70,115,868 Total
Box Office United States / Canada $ 6,524,389 3,520 e Total
Box Office Belgium 246,543 entries Total
Box office France 4,413,839 entries Total
Box Office Switzerland 129,829 entries Total



  • Caesar 2005
    • Cesar Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role ( Marion Cotillard )
    • César of the best male hope ( Gaspard Ulliel )
    • Caesar of the best photography ( Bruno Delbonnel )
    • Caesar of the best costumes ( Madeline Fontaine )
    • Caesar of the best decor ( Aline Bonetto )
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association : Best Foreign Language Film
  • Florida Film Critics Circle : Best Foreign Film
  • Chicago Film Critics Association : Best Foreign Language Film
  • Making-of International Festival of Toulouse : Grand Jury Prize
  • 2005 Edgar-Allan-Poe Award for Best Screenplay
  • London’s Favorite French Film 2006


  • Caesar 2005
    • César for the best film ( Jean-Pierre Jeunet )
    • Cesar Award for Best Actress ( Audrey Tautou )
    • Cesar Award for Best Director (Jean-Pierre Jeunet)
    • Cesar Award for Best Original Screenplay or Adaptation ( Jean-Pierre Jeunet ) and ( Guillaume Laurant )
    • Caesar of the best music ( Angelo Badalamenti )
    • Caesar of the best editing ( Hervé Schneid )
  • Oscars
    • Oscar for the best photography ( Bruno Delbonnel )
    • Oscar for the best decorations ( Aline Bonetto )


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  • In one of the scenes of the film, we see one of the soldiers sentenced to death, Ange Bassignano trying to surrender to the Germans shouting: “I’m not French, I’m Corsica, me” . A controversy ensued in Corsica, especially since the character was mean, cowardly and sly. Originally, the soldier was to be Marseille, but the director chose to make it a Corsican because he, he says, wanted at any price to film the beauty of the island (and not to create a controversy ). As a result of this case, the film was removed from cinemas in Corsica including those of Propriano . Many Corsicans volunteered to serve in the French army during the First World War; this sentence would thus prejudice their memory.
  • We find in this film many sources of inspiration: the color sepia image evokes the atmosphere of albums cartoon of Jacques Tardi , some scenes allude to factor Feast Day of Jacques Tati , and the soundtrack recalls the theme of the film The Trails of Glory . There is also an allusion to a film sharing the same theme: When are the storks of Mikhail Kalatozov The two heroines are waiting for their fiancé’s letter and are launching strange bets, the outcome of which, according to them, will be decisive for the fulfillment of their hopes to reach a certain point before the end of a countdown.
  • The making-of of the film ( A year at the Front , 74 min ), a veritable mine of information and anecdotes, won the jury prize at the making-of festival of Romorantin in 2006 7 .

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Sébastien Japrisot explains in his book a picture Byng at dusk gives the name of the trench Bingo Twilight . Note that this explanation is not repeated in the film.
  2. ↑ ” Bouillon Chartier – A LONG SUNDAY OF FIANÇAILLES ” , on www.parisfaitsoncinema.com (accessed May 23, 2016 ) [ archive ]
  3. ↑ In the xx th century, NATO forces have acquired amicably or by expropriating [ref. necessary] farms east of Montmorillon. The last parcels were bought in 1956. American troops occupied the camp until November 1966 when the French authorities took possession of the land.
  4. ↑ http://www.parisfaitsoncinema.com/the-addresses/lauberge-ravoux-in-a-long-dimanche-de-fiancailles.html [ archive ]
  5. ↑ The World, August 10, 2007
  6. ↑ All times – All Time
  7. ↑ Awards of the Making-Of Festival 2006 [ archive ]

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