In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances.
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
With a plan to exact revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner, oceanographer Steve Zissou rallies a crew that includes his estranged wife, a journalist, and a man who may or may not be his son.
Krank (Daniel Emilfork), who cannot dream, kidnaps young children to steal their dreams. One (Ron Perlman), a former whale hunter who is as strong as a horse, sets forth to search for Denree, his little brother who was kidnapped by Krank's men. Helped by young Miette (Judith Vittet), he soon arrives in La Cite des Enfants Perdus (The City of Lost Children). Written by
Ron Perlman doesn't speak French and was the only American on set. But he learned all of his lines, and delivered them without error. In commentaries and interviews, however, he insists his French was bad. See more »
The words from The Original that Miette remembers in flashback (after she receives Uncle Irvin's dream message) differ slightly from what The Original actually said, although the point of the message is still the same. See more »
[Following through with his suggestion that a solution might be found found in an analysis of Krank's "tears"]
Once upon a time there was an inventor so gifted that he could create life. A truly remarkable man.
A fairy tale! Tears are welling in my eyes.
Since he had no wife or children he decided to create them in his laboratory. He started with wife and fas into the most beautiful princess in the world. Alas, a wicked genetic fairy cast a spell on the inventor so much so that ...
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As in Amelie and Delicatessen, Jeunet is interested in the complex connections between things, even as small as a flea. The film is not so much about a story as it is about illustrating how the characters got where they are, often with a fast- paced sequence of events like a Rube Goldberg device. Open up your eyes and mind to the world that is created here, leave behind expectations of how it should function or how the plot should advance. You will be richly rewarded. The sets and costumes are gorgeous, true enough, but the true beauty lies in the characters and their lives; the children that are too grown up, the hero who is more a child than they are, the imperfect creations of science, and the improbable leftovers of a circus freak show.
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