‘Incredible but True’ Review: Track to the Future

A suburban couple makes a life-altering discovery in the basement of their new home in this delightfully odd comedy.

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By Jeannette Catsoulis

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However you respond to the wacky oeuvre of the French filmmaker Quentin Dupieux, its loopy originality is cheering. Through a string of out-there movies featuring killer tires, monstrous insects and cursed outerwear, he has remained committed to exposing the sadness behind much of human silliness. Whatever his subject, it’s never solely about the goof.

He has also typically been blessed with actors skilled at selling dotty setups with deadpan ease. In “Incredible but True,” he has the stellar support of Alain Chabat and Léa Drucker (currently starring in the marvelous Epix series “War of the Worlds”), who play Alain and Marie, a fondly becalmed couple who impulsively purchase a suburban home. On the urging of their excitable real estate agent (Stéphane Pezerat), the couple investigates a trapdoor in the basement which conceals a strange tunnel. Where — and to when — the tunnel leads will upend their lives and rearrange their destinies.

Coming in at a tight and talky 74 minutes, “Incredible but True” is a sweetly absurd time-travel comedy that coats its lunacy in a touching poignancy. While Alain, as unwavering as his puff of silvery hair, manages a stressful work client and the hypermasculine posturing of his boastful boss, Gérard (Benoît Magimel), Marie becomes dismayingly obsessed with the tunnel’s wonders. Her bizarre behavior — like the droll adventures of Gérard’s recently installed, Bluetooth-enabled electronic penis — has a desperate quality: In this movie, the diminutions of aging are rarely out of mind.

For Alain, though, happiness means simply surviving middle age without the assistance of a temporal blip or an iPenis. Even one with three speeds.

Incredible but True
Not rated. In French and Japanese, with subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 14 minutes. Watch on Arrow.

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