New York Film Festival Review: ‘MICROBE & GASOLINE’ is a charming coming of age road movie.

NYFF 53 bannerMICROBE ET GASOIL-4So many of us did not fit in while we were in school. Maybe we wore clothes that were different, has religious parents, or just had quirky personalities that wouldn’t be appreciated until college. Director Michel Gondry tackles the coming of age genre with his new film MICROBE & GASOLINE. With credits like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep, Gondry has no problem tackling the whimsy many of us enjoy while sitting in  a dark theater to escape our everyday lives. Still brimming with that very same sense of lightness, Microbe & Gasoline takes on the subject of two young boys trying to navigate insecurities and innocence… all while alone on the road in a car they build themselves.

Available to rent and buy onTuesday, September 4th with behind-the-scenes extras on We Are Colony

MICROBE ET GASOIL-7Newcomer Ange Dargent, is a true delight on screen. His natural presence is so relatable. He plays young introvert and artist, Daniel. Nicknamed ‘Microbe’ by classmates, even though he continually points out he is not the shortest boy in the class, he is constantly picked on at school. While at home, mother Marie-Thérèse (played effortlessly by the beautiful Audrey Tautou) dotes so heavily it drives him deeper into himself. Enter new kid, Théo, rambunctious, confident and perfect foil for Daniel, he is unafraid of standing up to bullies even if he not the most popular. Young actor, in only his sophomore picture, Théophile Baquet, plays Gasoline with the perfect balance of snark and charm. Buzzing onto the scene with a souped up electric bicycle and smelling of, yep, you guessed it, gasoline, he adopts our Microbe as his new project. The two discover that with a whole lot of ingenuity they can build their own car to escape struggles at home for the summer. But why stop at a car? Why not add a house on top for camouflage and living purposes. MICROBE ET GASOIL-12

Tackling subjects like confidence, sex, loss, and just plain growing up, MICROBE & GASOLINE has enough heart to compete with Gondry’s previous adult incarnations with the same issues. The dialogue is snappy, sweet, and funny. While the plot itself is not necessarily a new idea, I still believe it to be a true success. Below you can find the trailer. While for now we only have it  available in French (sans subtitles), you still get the general idea of how wonderful this film truly us. And, not to worry, there are English subtitles during the film itself.

  • Directed By Michel Gondry
  • 2015
  • France
  • French with English subtitles
  • DCP
  • 103 minutes

The new handmade-SFX comedy from Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind) is set in an autobiographical key. Teenage misfits Microbe (Ange Dargent) and Gasoline (Théophile Baquet), one nicknamed for his size and the other for his love of all things mechanical and fuel-powered, become fast friends. Unloved in school and misunderstood at home—Microbe is overprotected, Gasoline is by turns ignored and abused—they decide to build a house on wheels (complete with a collapsible flower window box) and sputter, push, and coast their way to the camp where Gasoline went as a child, with a stop along the way to visit Microbe’s crush (Diane Besnier). Gondry’s visual imagination is prodigious, and so is his cultivation of spontaneously generated fun and off-angled lyricism, his absolute irreverence, and his emotional frankness. This is one of his freshest and loveliest films. With Audrey Tatou as Microbe’s mom.

Showtimes

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4

12:00 PM

Buy Tickets

MONDAY, OCTOBER 5

9:00 PM

Standby Only

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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