Before they made the world fall in love with the adorable Audrey Tatou in Amelie, filmmakers Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro took a walk on the weird side with this fantastical dark fairy tale for adults, a steampunk-flavored mixture of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, a traveling circus sideshow and a Victorian-era children’s picture book dipped in acid.
“Audacious and original. A stunningly surreal fantasy, a fable of longing and danger, of heroic deeds and bravery, set in a brilliantly realized world of its own.” – Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
In a bizarre, surreal future society, the mad scientist Krank, who is tormented by his inability to dream, kidnaps children to steal their dreams in order to reverse his accelerated aging process. The problem is the children are so scared of him he only gets their nightmares. When Denree, the little brother of strongman and former whale hunter One (the always awesome Ron Perlman) is kidnapped by Krank, One goes looking for him, helped by the young Miette and a host of eccentric characters. Arriving at the City of Lost Children he tries to put an end to the terrifying reign of Krank and his evil Cyclops army, but not before we’re treated to a cavalcade of strangeness, including crime boss Siamese twins, cloaked creeps and sentient giant brains in juice jars. (Dir. by Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro, 1995, France, in French with subtitles, Rated R)