Delicatessen Review

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In a ravaged French city, in a post-holocaust future, possibly an alternate 1950s, daily life trundles on, and a very French group of apartment tenants concentrate on a very French set of concerns: adultery, suicide, music and, most of all, of course, food, glorious food.


The butcher (Dreyfus) who owns the block has developed a system to support his tenants by hiring odd-job men whom he fattens up, then turns into tasty meats that usefully supplement the lentils that have taken over as hard currency in the starving city.

The only people who remain untouched by this meat eater's corruption are the butcher's saintly daughter (Clapet), a wistful but myopic cellist, and the old man in the cellar who has turned his home into a watery swamp to support the two apparent essentials of French cuisine, frogs and snails.

Into this tidily unhappy world comes Louison (Pinon), an ex-clown still grieving over the death of his monkey, and the man whose good-natured decency moves Clapet to finally betray the cannibals to Delicatessen: the subterranean revolutionaries.

While Delicatessen has a few bizarro precedents; Eraserhead, Brazil, Life On The Edge, The Last Battle, this is still a delightfully original picture, poised perfectly between farce and horror, with the sinister undertones of much recent French cinema fin