If you don't know Jean-Pierre Jeunet, you really should. Director of Delicatessen and Amélie, he is fast becoming one of my favourite directors.
'The City of Lost Children' follows a distopian society where children are being kidnapped for a mad scientist intent on stealing their dreams. One of these children is the little brother of One (Ron Perlman) who sets about rescuing him with the help of Crumb (Judith Vitett) the leader of a gang of thieving children, not unlike Dodger in Oliver.
'The City of Lost Children' is a visual treat. It is as though you are looking at a kind of twisted industrial world through green tinted spectacles. It is difficult to describe the pure beauty of the world created. Endless staircases and passageways, underground and even underwater worlds are enclosed by green sea and sky. Jean-Paul Gaultier creates beautifully subtle costumes balanced by Marc Caro's stunning sets.
The cast give strong performances across the board, never have I seen so many interesting faces! The staring performance comes from Judith Vitett who delivers a performance wise beyond her years. Vitett recieved a nomination for 'Best Performance by a Young Actor' for the role.
'The City of Lost Children' is as bizarre as it is beautiful. I had to watch it twice to fully follow the story. The narrative is perhaps one of the less successful parts of this film, it is so detailed that at times it can become difficult to follow. The film doesn't provide the audience with all the answers which can be frustrating, especially for the modern americanised film audience. But if you are surpass that minute detail you will find a beautifully crafted, original film that comes highly recommended.