Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
France, 1991. Constellation, Union Générale Cinématographique, Hachette Première, Sofinergie Films, Sofinergie 2, Investimage 2, Investimage 3, La Fondation Gan pour le Cinéma, Victoires Productions. Screenplay by Gilles Adrien, Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, dialogue by Gilles Adrien. Cinematography by Darius Khondji. Produced by Claudie Ossard. Music by Carlos D’Alessio. Production Design by Marc Caro. Costume Design by Valerie Pozzo di Borgo. Film Editing by Herve Schneid.
The decidedly kooky stylings of Jean-Pierre Jeunet that audiences would come to love in Amelie were first experienced in this delightful film. A circus clown (Dominique Pinon) applies for a job as a butcher’s assistant in a post-apocalyptic world where food is the only valuable currency and people are resorting to cannibalism to survive. The butcher takes the young man, hoping to keep him employed for a little while before serving him up as a feast for the tenants of the apartment building he owns. The butcher’s plans are foiled when Pinon falls in love with his daughter and the two conspire to find a way to keep Pinon alive. Highly stylized visuals and a beautifully memorable musical score are a huge attraction, but Jeunet’s work has a heart at its centre and keeps the film from being only a technical experience.