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      Delicatessen

      R Released Apr 17, 1991 1h 38m Sci-Fi List
      90% Tomatometer 58 Reviews 91% Audience Score 25,000+ Ratings Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) is a butcher who owns a run-down apartment building in post-apocalyptic France. The building is in constant need of a handyman, because Clapet routinely butchers them and sells them as food. The latest in the long ling of disposable workers is Louison (Dominique Pinon), a former circus clown desperate for work and lodging. But this time Clapet's plan hits a snag when his young daughter (Marie-Laure Dougnac) falls head over heels for the lovable Louison. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Jan 24 Buy Now

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      Critics Consensus

      Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet deftly combines horror, sci-fi, and humor in Delicatessen, a morbid comedy set in a visually ravishing futuristic dystopia.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Anton Bitel Little White Lies All at once nightmarish cannibal horror and romantic comedy, good-natured fairytale, and hyper-stylised allegory of French wartime collaboration and resistance, this collective debut from Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet is dizzyingly difficult to pin down Oct 18, 2023 Full Review Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer With its molelike inhabitants, its sprawling war between flesh-eaters and lentil-men, its achingly sweet love story and surrealist blend of dusty antiquities and 21st-century gizmos, Delicatessen is indescribably wild. Rated: 3.5/4 Nov 21, 2013 Full Review Clifford Terry Chicago Tribune All of this is handled in a breezy, off-handed, nutsy manner, as the superb cast combines to help bring it off. Rated: 3.5/4 Nov 21, 2013 Full Review Iain Robertson Starburst While the subject matter is bleak, Delicatessen is a charming, unique movie and a truly unique piece of cinema. Rated: 4/5 Oct 16, 2023 Full Review Rene Jordan El Nuevo Herald (Miami) An existentialist fricassee of irresistible comedy. [Full review in Spanish] Dec 12, 2022 Full Review Mike Massie Gone With The Twins Thriving on eccentricity, the film also utilizes an artistic entwining of music and sound effects, tinged with a spectacularly compelling atmosphere of unease. Rated: 9/10 Sep 11, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Aender S Great visuals, quirky acting and crazy story, the main ingredients for this excellent movie. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 04/13/24 Full Review Logan D In a morbid future, food is in short supply and rice is used as currency. A corrupt butcher lures persons to be cut up as meat by advertising for a handyman. Wow! This is a film I often saw advertised at our local theater that showed art films and Rocky Horror but I never saw it. Indeed, I just had the impression (with no evidence) this was some snooty French film which I wouldn't like. Little did I know it is an whimsical darkly humorous zany sci-fi tale that actually examines the resistance movement in German-occupied Europe. Not that I got that. That's on Wikipedia. But you don't need to know that to enjoy this great work of film. And it has one of the greatest set pieces to ever grace the screen. A fellow film buff said that set piece was the advertisement for the film and always garnered laughs before the scheduled feature. Highly, highly recommended. So sad I took so long to view it but so happy I finally did. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 12/31/23 Full Review Richard H A unique blend of black comedy, dystopian atmosphere, and visual creativity. It's a showcase in creating a bizarre and captivating world where the absurdity of the characters' lives unfold. It successfully combines romance, horror, and satire. The cinematography, set design, and quirky characters all contribute to the film's charm, Definately watch if you're a fan of offbeat cinema. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 12/02/23 Full Review Matthew L Very entertaining. Somewhat slap-stick in nature. A love story with a villain and a hero that you can't take too seriously. I loved it. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 11/10/23 Full Review Matthew B Imagine a world in which the seeds have stopped growing. Delicatessen does not explain which seeds have stopped growing or why. Presumably it cannot be all of them or the population would be extinct within weeks. However enough plants have failed to grow to cause a food shortage. Finally people might resort to cannibalism, and this is the situation that exists at the start of the movie. The residents of the apartment block survive by hiring a labourer to live in the apartment and perform menial tasks. When he outlives his usefulness, he is killed for food. This situation is not unique to the area. We are told that other places choose their victim by lots. Such a situation implies a society in which law and order has broken down, and we see no police officers in Delicatessen. Society has not broken down completely. Televisions still work. The apartment has electricity and plumbing, albeit of a bad quality. Elitism and favouritism persist. Residents are envious of the wealthy Interligators, and the butcher's mistress obtains her food without the need to pay him. There is even a postman. However this is no Kevin Costner figure bringing good will to his recipients. He is a tough biker, armed with a gun to prevent people stealing his mail. He is a dangerous and unpleasant character who has a soft spot for the movie's heroine, Julie, and at one point he attempts to rape her. Not everyone accepts this status quo, and there appear to be a group of vegetarian terrorists known as Troglodistes. They strike fear into the hearts of the French citizens, although it is not clear why, or what they do except steal grain. In such a world, what kind of person would come out on top? The answer that Delicatessen offers us is this – it would be the butcher. He is the one man lacking who is not squeamish about carrying out the grisly task of slaughtering the other residents and providing slabs of their meat to his neighbours. The film includes a series of astonishing visual shots. Indeed the humour of the movie is often expressed more through the bizarre images on the screen than through the dialogue. The film is wreathed in a yellow colour, adding a look of grimness to the sets. The camera seemingly travels through pipes from one place to another, or follows the progress of objects as they are thrown, notably The Australian, Louison's boomerang knife. The movies have a distinct look about them. Jeunet employs camera trickery and fantastical elements to produce something that is unreal but also a treat to look at. Scenes are shot from unusual angles, and cameras seem to perform remarkable tricks that are just illusions, as in the examples given. The plots also work like clockwork, with a tightly constructed pattern of cause and effect. In the case of Delicatessen, a number of elements introduced earlier into the film – the Australian, the rat whistle, the loose step on the stairway, or the bullshit detector – will play a role at the movie's climax. Jeunet's movies celebrate the small minutiae of life. He dwells on little quirky details (the toilet roll floating by as Louison and Julie flood the bathroom, the grandmother's knitting needles, the pile of empty snail shells in the Frog Man's room). His movies also offer sympathetic portrayals of society's misfits and outsiders. Jeunet's heroes and heroines are never conventional and dull. They always have a few peculiarities. Louison is a former clown. Julie is clumsy and short-sighted, and breaks things, so she buys two of everything. The two perform duets on cello and musical saw. I wrote a longer appreciation of Delicatessen on my blog page (with spoilers) if you would like to read more: https://themoviescreenscene.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/delicatessen-1991/ Rated 5 out of 5 stars 08/23/23 Full Review richard t Just one of the greatest movies of all time! :) Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) is a butcher who owns a run-down apartment building in post-apocalyptic France. The building is in constant need of a handyman, because Clapet routinely butchers them and sells them as food. The latest in the long ling of disposable workers is Louison (Dominique Pinon), a former circus clown desperate for work and lodging. But this time Clapet's plan hits a snag when his young daughter (Marie-Laure Dougnac) falls head over heels for the lovable Louison.
      Director
      Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc Caro
      Screenwriter
      Gilles Adrien, Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
      Distributor
      Miramax Films
      Production Co
      Miramax
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Sci-Fi
      Original Language
      French (France)
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Apr 17, 1991, Original
      Rerelease Date (Theaters)
      Apr 3, 1992
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 1, 2009
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $9.1K
      Runtime
      1h 38m
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