City of Lost Children


A fantastic and fascinating film

Main Cast: Ron Perlman, Judith Vittet, Daniel Emilfork, Dominique Pinon
Directors: Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Plot Summary: A mad scientist kidnaps children in order to harvest their dreams for his own mysterious ends.

I’m afraid my summary does little to convey the complexity of this fascinating movie. While there is, in fact, a plot, the film does not unduly focus on it. Rather, this is more of a dream than anything else: images, situations, and unique people flow together in a rhythm that swept me up and allowed me to utilize my imagination. That rarely happens with a movie, and for all that I must say this was special.

Ah, the characters. We have One (Perlman), the strongman, simple of mind and innocent of spirit. His small brother is kidnapped and he goes after those responsible, only wishing to bring back his own. Along the way he meets Miette (Vittet), a young girl who is far more emotionally developed that most everyone in the movie. She takes One under her wing and helps him in his search.

We also get a chance to meet the one behind the kidnappings. It is Krank (Emilfork), an old and wizened professor who has a fleet of clones (all played by Pinon), a tiny woman partner, and a brain in a green fluid tank. Quite a unique family, as it were, but relatively normal for this movie. Which should tell you that this is a blend of the fantastic, with eye-popping visuals and lush scenery.

I hesitate to give too much more away. All I will say is that coincidence reigns supreme in this world, that nobody is without history, and everything is not quite what it seems. It is a fascinating study, and only a small indie company here, or non-Americans (in this case, the French), would dare to produce it. A shame for our own industry, but that’s the way it is.

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