Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 70%
Empire
Film Studies 101
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
A Fuller Life
3 Star Empire Rating
Futuro Beach
4 Star Empire Rating
Tokyo Tribe
2 Star Empire Rating
Honeytrap
2 Star Empire Rating
Pheonix
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
Sweet Smell of Success
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.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
40 Of The Unlikeliest Movie Character Posters
Would you put these one-sheets on your wall?

Who Is The Vision, Anyway?
An introduction to Avengers: Age Of Ultron's newest addition

Jenny Agutter: Role by Role
From Tin to Captain America to The Railway Children

80 Of The Best Movie Star Adverts
From Sly Stallone selling bread to Hugh Jackman dancing for iced tea

Matthew Weiner Reveals 7 Mad Men Secrets
The showrunner on The Beatles and that lawnmower

Empire's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Review
Our verdict on what could be the biggest film of the year...

The 15 Most Controversial Alternate Endings
How some of your favourite films could have finished...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 70%
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  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)