The Stainless Steel Rat (stainsteelrat) wrote,
The Stainless Steel Rat

Retro Film Review: The City of Lost Children (1995)

The City of Lost Children (1995). Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro. The story starts in a strange future or parallel world. Life is hard in this world, and a strongman (Ron Perlman) ekes out a living by breaking chains in front of an audience. Things go wrong when his manager is killed as part of a robbery, and then his "Little Brother" (a small child who he has befriended, and collects coins from the audience) is kidnapped by a strange religious group referred to as the Cyclops. The strongman sets off to save his Little Brother with a reformed child member of a gang of pickpockets. The City of Lost Children is essentially a fairy tale for adults. The styling and design are simply amazing, and reflective in colour (with reds and greens) of Jeunet's prior film, Delicatessen, and subsequent film, Amélie. Often the film feels like a living painting, such is the exquisite detail and care that has gone into the design of each shot. The soundtrack by Angelo Badalamenti is also perfection, with a number of beautiful and haunting themes that run throughout. Both Perlman, and the other adult and child actors, give fantastic performances. Underpinning all of this is an incredible, original, and imaginative story. If you like dark fairy tales, and aren't averse to foreign language films, then this is a must watch. 5/5 (Excellent).
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