Summary: In a post-apocalyptic France, grain, lentils or the very shoes you wear on your feet have taken over from currency and what were once life’s little luxuries – like meat in particular – is scarce. Ex-circus clown Louison (Dominique Pinon) arrives in a quiet town to take up an advertised vacant position in routine maintenance for an apartment building. Accepted, he lives and works in the collection of flats that are filled with its variety of residents, including the landlord (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) who works and runs the petite delicatessen on the ground floor. His daughter (Marie-Laure Dougnac) also resides in the building and strikes up a close friendship with Louison, who she must now try and protect from the dangers the world now lives in and the sinister plan that’s behind the job that lured him here.
My Review: From the creators that would later bring us the enchanting Amélie and wondrously gothic The City of Lost Children, comes their debut Delicatessen. I now know the pair originally started out making music videos and adverts in France, before splashing out in this first big feature film that’ll tickle any fans of black comedy. It’s a good thing they did take the plunge as it’s certainly rewarded them with genuine and admiring film fans not just in the circle of world cinema devotees. Delicatessen is darkly amusing and pokes fun at how far we the human race might go to still enjoy eating in a world skint on rations. It includes cannibalism, vegetarian freedom fighters and botched suicide attempts and yet the film is still understatedly magical and charming. You’ll find it hard not to love the weird quirky characters in France’s dystopian yet fantastical future.
My Rating: 2.5/5
What’s your favourite French film, French director or actor? Let me know in the comments section below!