Movie Review: Michel Gondry takes it easy with the laid-back Microbe And Gasoline

Cutesy title notwithstanding, Microbe And Gasoline stands as one of director Michel Gondry’s most restrained works, even if it is about two middle-school-age misfits taking a road trip in a homemade car disguised as a small house. Powered by a lawnmower engine and equipped with a fold-down facade to hide it from the cops (it’s not exactly “street legal”), this motorized clubhouse is the handiwork of Daniel (Ange Dargent), an artsy runt often mistaken for a girl by grown-ups, and Théo (Théophile Baquet), his handy moped-riding best friend. Viewers old or young enough to remember a time when The Work Of Director Michel Gondry took pride of place on many a dorm room and first apartment shelf will recognize the bits of autobiography split between the two characters, introduced as new classmates in Versailles, the French fantasist’s hometown in the suburbs of Paris.

But instead of disappearing …

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