Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: Get 6 Issues For £15
Get Empire magazine today and save money!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Ron Perlman
Daniel Emilfork
Judith Vittet.
Directors
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Marc Caro.
Screenwriters
Gilles Adrien
Jean-Pierre Junet.
Running Time
112 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Honeymoon
3 Star Empire Rating
Last Impresario, The
3 Star Empire Rating
I Origins
4 Star Empire Rating
Soul Boys Of The Western World
4 Star Empire Rating
What We Did On Our Holiday
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating

The City Of Lost Children


submit to reddit


Plot
Krank, an evil inventor incapable of dreaming, kidnaps children hoping to steal their dreams - but can only retract their nightmares. But when the adoptive younger brother of circus strongman One is taken, One teams up with thief Miette to stage a daring rescue.


Review
Delicatessen, the feature debut of Jeunet et Caro, was such a one-of-a-kind cult item, it would seem almost impossible to follow. Happily, given a larger budget and huge sets, the team has come up with a worthy successor in this more expansive though no less weird picture. Like Delicatessen, the setting is a fantastical alternate world located somewhere between Terry Gilliam's Brazil and Jules Verne's France, but this has a more fairy-tale-like narrative. The film hangs on a touching team-up between a good-hearted but dim-witted side-show strongman (Perlman) and a waif-like orphan thief (Vittet) as they search for Perlman's missing younger brother.

On an offshore rig, a renegade clone (Emilfork) and his four identical younger siblings (all Delicatessen's Dominique Pinon) tap into the dreams of stolen children, taking the advice of a brain in a tank with the voice of Jean-Louis Trintignant. Meanwhile, in a waterfront city of rusted metal and grotesque down-and-outs, Siamese twin sisters known as "The Octopus" run a Fagin-like operation, forcing children onto the streets to steal before selling not their ill-gotten gains, but the children themselves to the Nosferatu-ish Emilfork.

Also mixed up in it all is the broken-down opium-addicted owner of a flea circus, played by Delicatessen star Jean-Claude Dreyfus, and a sect of one-eyed revivalist cyborgs. Unlike Gilliam, who is clearly a major influence, Jeunet and Caro take care with their storyline and characters, hanging their cherished bits of astonishing business - a flea-cam trip from head to head, the chaos caused by a tear striking a cobweb, Emilfork's attempt to impersonate Santa Claus - on an involving, moving plot. The City Of Lost Children is as great a film as you thought Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was when you were five years old.


Verdict
use the last sentence of the current review


Reviewed by Kim Newman

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Empire's Epic Interstellar Subscribers' Cover
The countdown begins to Christopher Nolan's sci-fi masterpiece

The Future Of Film: Your Favourite Movie WIll Be Crowdfunded
Click here to donate

The Empire Podcast #128: Interviews With Sir Roger Moore And George MacKay
Plus we say goodbye to Richard Kiel and the British Expendables are assembled...

Shut Up, World! Gary Busey Is Talking!
Strap yourselves in and meet a true Hollywood original.

Classic Feature: Gods Among Us - Paul Newman
A cat so cool he makes Steve McQueen look geeky.

The Boxtrolls Interviews: The Cast And Crew On Laika's Latest
Sir Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning and more talk stop-motion

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)