Static Mass Rating: 3/5

Original release: April 13th, 2012
Running time: 108 minutes

Country of origin: French
Original language: French with English subtitles

Directors: David Foenkinos, Stephane Foenkinos
Writer: David Foenkinos

Cast: Audrey Tautou, Francois Damiens, Pio Marmai, Bruno Todeschini

Moving on from a relationship is always tough. If you’re not ready to let go, then accepting that it’s over can seem impossible. Even when the shock has worn off, a mouldy depression sinks in, and if you’re anything like me, emotional outbursts are prone to take place at really inappropriate times.

Like over your ex’s favourite bagels being half-price and thinking “oh, I should get some!” and then remembering afresh that you’re not actually welcome anywhere near his toaster, ever again. Friends don’t know how to speak to you any more, sides are taken, and traversing the city can take twice as long while you avoid memory hot-spots and commuter routes.


For Nathalie (Audrey Tautou), it’s so much worse; three years ago her husband, Francois (Pio Marmai), was killed in an accident. Nathalie grieves and buries herself in her career. She still wears her wedding ring and lives in the apartment they once shared with a fierce sense of loyalty.

Daydreaming about Francois in the office one day, she accidentally kisses Markus (Francois Damiens), a somewhat troll-ish colleague in her work group. He’s instantly infatuated with her and sets out to win her heart.

Markus has a heart of gold, he’s kind of goofy and sensitive, and he provides most of the laughs in the movie. His awkward evening out with Charles (Bruno Todeschini) shows the various ways he’s more suitable for Nathalie.

Even though I liked Markus, I wasn’t quite convinced by the pairing; I feel like there was some disconnect in the chemistry on-screen, though both leads were very charming. It didn’t make the coupling unbelievable, but I did question whether Nathalie was just safety-testing the water and going along with it because he was like a training-boyfriend until she found her feet again.


Delicacy shows us the next love, the one after the ‘first love’, and the conflicting feelings that come along with inviting someone new into your life. With Francois, Nathalie felt she had the ‘couldn’t live without him’ love, and Foenkinos shows us that sometimes you have to just suck it up because life has other ideas.

While it doesn’t tell a new story, and it certainly doesn’t set out to break new ground, it is a sweet, funny and feel-good film that gives us hope. Whether it takes three months or three years, we can all bounce back from the end of a relationship, and we don’t need to rush it. Love and life will be there when we’re ready.

I think, for better or worse, we’re made from the memories of other people. Regardless of who is in our lives in the present, no one can take away the years that we’ve already shared with other important people and the experiences that make us who we are.


Had I seen Delicacy at a time when I was in a stable, reciprocated relationship, I probably would have thought it was a sweet, spring-time romantic comedy with a couple of laughs and left the cinema with a smile and a fuzzy smugness, and then forgotten all about it.

Instead, it tapped into something deeper, something much more melancholic, and I found myself thinking of it again and again. Delicacy glossed a universally sad situation with the wholesome, hopeful shine that I needed to see. It made me feel, well, not exactly better, but it helped me to make some kind of peace and accept that it’s OK to be sad when bad things happen, and that it will get better, even if that takes a while.

When it comes to walking down that bagel aisle, sometimes hope is all that’s left. I’ll see you for a picnic in 2015.

About Frances Taylor

Frances Taylor

Frances likes words and pictures, regardless of media. She finds great comfort and escape in film, and is attracted to anything character-driven with a strong story. Through these stories, she will find meaning in the world. Three movies that Frances thinks are really good for this are You and Me and Everyone We Know (Miranda July), I’m A Cyborg, But That’s OK (Chan-Wook Park), and How I Ended This Summer (Alexei Popogrebsky).

When Frances grows up, she would like to write words and make pictures and have cool people recognise her on the street and tell her that they really enjoy her work.

She can be found overreacting and over-caffeinated on Twitter @penny_face, a childhood moniker from her grandmother owing to her gloriously round face.