As a story it hangs together very sloppily, but luckily some of the performances and most of the camerawork is interesting enough to keep it compelling throughout. Highly flawed but still worth watching for novelty's sake.
It's like a cartoon come to life. The visuals are nothing short of stunning; they burst with color and life and the framing and camera work is always inspired. I love the world that was created. The downfall is that the story, while it is emotional and has moments of great beauty, never really hooked me in completely. It felt like it was secondary to the visuals. Overall, though, a thoroughly enjoyable film.
I wanted to cut this film up into small bite sized bits and eat them for months. Every frame is sumptuously detailed with breathtaking visuals. This was my introduction to Ron Perlman having not seen Beauty and the Beast. Judith Vittet turns in one of the best child performances I've ever seen.
3.5 stars. I was rather seduced by it as a teenager, but it's rather soured in my mind with memory... as another reviewer notes, there *is* something unsavoury about it. I feel like my sensibilities would general lead me to favour the grotesquerie of 'Lost Children' over the sentimentality of 'Amélie', but I know which one I'd rather re-watch. Maybe if I didn't have OCD I'd relate to Amélie less & enjoy this more...
Expensive-looking demo reel of '90s CGI, hell-bent to out-pomp Terry Gilliam. The narrative tries to thematize its own lack of soul through an assortment of dark comicbook tropes, with no payoff. Unsavoury hints of paedophilia and signs of child mistreatment during production make it a real stinker.
This is the style of film I am most captivated by - over-the-top dystopian fantasy and "how the fuck did they do that?" set design. While there are other Caro/Jeunet films that rank higher for me, I don't know if a whole lot could go wrong with Marc Caro visuals, Angelo Badalamenti doing the score, and Jean Paul Gaultier doing the costume design. Awesome crew.
While this intriguing and peculiar world allows this vigorous and bipolar story to flow nicely, it is not exactly inviting. Plus, it's a disgrace that its story seldom shows its heart as it could've had.