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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars C'est magnifique. Surreal and so unreal....
On its release, this French film caused much interest and praise due to its freshness and vitality. The joint debut of directors Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet has distinctive visual style, a surreal yet clever plot, hilarious comic pieces and comedy timing making it a delightful, colourful, imaginative film of many surprises that refuses to become classified within any...
Published on 10 Oct. 2003 by Brian G

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great film...vanilla blu-ray
This is for the amaray case blu ray edition and not the studio canal collection digi book. The film itself is a visually impressive dark comedy and the transfer does the film justice. Plenty of grain and no DNR, blacks are deep and the orange tone is intentional. The original 2.0 audio is here in lossless DTS MA and it sounds great. However all we get is the film and a...
Published 7 months ago by DABRo


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very disturbing film - disturbing that it makes you laugh., 11 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Delicatessen [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
This is film noir set I presume in post world war 2 Paris, but anyway the details don't matter except to say that the starkness of the landscape is echoed in that of peoples' struggle to survive. The fascination is that up to an almost ridiculous point a pretense of adhering to various social conventions is kept up while all the while macabre scenes lurk and hang unseen ( but not unheard ) . It is certainly of the 'elephant in the room ' variety that few wish to either acknowledge or confront - you will soon work it out for yourself.The film revels in rapaciousness. You will find yourself laughing at absurdity, at touching moments of human urbanity,but also at things which normally would be too chilling to be funny. Very well acted and tightly directed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black comedy at its finest, 7 Jun. 2013
By 
Laura Hartley (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Delicatessen [DVD] (DVD)
Delicatessen is a French film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who is best known for his work on Amelie, France's highest grossing film. I was forced to watch Delicatessen because I'm taking part in a symposium next week for which I have to do a 15 minute presentation and for some reason I thought it would be great to do it on a French film that I haven't seen yet. I know - smart choice. However, I'm sure that even if I hadn't needed to watch Delicatessen for educational purposes, I would've picked it up from the library at some point to see whether or not Jean-Pierre Jeunet's other works were anywhere near as good as Amelie.

Delicatessen is set in a post-apocalyptic France where meat is scarce and everything is rationed. Despite this, one butcher is never short of a good cut of meat. Unsurprisingly, his methods for obtaining meat aren't exactly orthodox. A former circus clown comes to the butcher's shop after seeing an ad in a paper for a job and moves into the apartment block. Everything seems perfectly normal at first, but the butcher's daughter starts to fall for the ex-circus clown and tries to warn him not to leave his room after dark.

This film seems to fit under several different genres as it encapsulates elements of romance, black comedy and satire. It's difficult to judge whether or not there was a good plot as the focus of French films is completely different to American films. French films spend a lot less time on the story and the plot and more on the art of cinema itself, so to speak. I wouldn't say that there was a conclusive plot to this story, but the ideas presented and the snippets of story that unfolded were very interesting and engaging. There were many plot twists and turns that I was not expecting at all and this is one of the perks of French cinema, because most of the time you haven't got a clue what's coming next!

This movie is incredibly sensory both visually and in sound. This was probably my favourite thing about the film as it created a brilliant atmosphere and there was such intricate detail put into every movement. What I loved was that much of the soundtrack was enhanced by repeated sounds made by everyday objects by the characters on screen and this also added to the humour. There are several moments when the entire focus is on something that seems so completely irrelevant, and yet somehow, the French turn it into something beautiful.

Everything is carried out with such precision and I love the detail that goes into French films that you would never find in a Hollywood film. There were several moments when I found myself staring fondly at the screen thinking 'this is just lovely', and that's a feeling I often get when watching French films, but rarely when watching a Hollywood film.

The acting is absolutely brilliant and very convincing. I don't think I've seen a French film yet that has had any 'bad' acting in it and the quality of French films is generally a lot higher than Hollywood films. Even though this was a black comedy/satire, I didn't think that anything was even remotely ridiculous, even though it was - that is how convincing the acting was.

The poster for this movie is less than impressive. When choosing a film to watch with hundreds of titles in front of me, a good eye-catching poster will be enough to entice me to watch that film. Delicatessen's poster featuring a simple golden pig did not appeal to me at all and I had absolutely no idea what sort of film it was. After watching it and taking some time to think, you could say that this golden pig represents the value of meat in this film, but not that many people take the time to consider these things so deeply. Despite it's less than impressive poster, I thought that this film was excellent. It is definitely not the type of film that I usually like to watch; however, I still found it highly enjoyable and there were some great cinematic elements.

It was full of suspense and mystery as well as romance and comedy, combining a whole host of different genres to make this an intriguing film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `Delicatessen' is 100% magic cinematic., 2 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Delicatessen [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
In a battered French street in what looks like the aftermath of an apocalyptic past, present or future, Louison (Dominique Pinon) is looking for a job. He soon finds a job as a janitor in a dilapidated apartment block, not realising the job comes with a chilling past.

The landlord is also the local butcher (Jean-Claude Dreyfus), a man feared by everyone and certainly not to be messed with! Food has become scarce, and with his tenants hungry the butchers search for new supplies of fresh meat takes him to unmentionably gruesome sources.

Louison doesn't seem to be the perfect choice for a handyman, he's too small and too skinny, but he does have hidden talents. He was once a clown in the circus, his sweet, playful nature has caught the eye of the landlords daughter Julie (Marie-Laure Dougnac). Julie is shy and quiet, not at all like her monstrous father, but she slowly develops a friendship with Louison.

The apartment block is full of peculiar characters, such as Mrs Interligator who hears voices telling her to kill herself, Mr Potin who lives in the cellar with frogs and snails, and the brothers Kube who construct toys that make farmyard sounds.
You would assume `Delicatessen' was a horror film, but you'd be so wrong. 20 years ago, the world was entranced by the genius of `Delicatessen', one of the most peculiar love stories ever told. We enter the zany world of directors Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro. In equal measures a comic strip fantasy, a comedy, throw in some social commentary, sci-fi gets a look in, horror too, I could go on. `Delicatessen' is a genre-defying spectacle like no other film.

The brilliant characters pale in comparison to the hilarious execution of so many classic scenes. The most famous sequence involves the butcher making love to his mistress on a squeaky bed. As the noise of the bed-springs gets faster and louder, the camera moves around to the other tenants, observing their own work in time to the rhythm of the bed-springs. This riotously hilarious sequence has been copied many times since, but it's never been bettered.

Who can forget Mrs Interligator's doomed attempts at committing suicide, the Australian, the unsuccessful tea party, and the sensational final sequence. Throw in some vegetarian rebels who live underground, a crazy postman, a symphony on a rooftop, and you've still not come close to showcasing all the cinematic gems in this film. The eccentricities of the cast dont overwhelm the film, nothing is overdone. This is down to the directors brilliant direction, it would be so easy for this film to have been an incomprehensible mess. Jeunet and Caro are craftsmen of the highest quality, the attention to detail in every aspect of this film is quite breathtaking.

Jeunet and Caro gobble up the surrealist spirit of Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton, Luis Buñuel and many others and regurgitates it into a twisted fairytale of staple French concerns, suicide, music, sex and food! `Delicatessen' is not just one of the funniest films i've seen, its not just one of the most romantic films I've seen, its one of the most creatively idiosyncratic films ever. `Delicatessen' is 100% magic cinematic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and funny - despite the people eating bits, 14 April 2010
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This review is from: Delicatessen [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
If you are looking for a post apocalyptic, bittersweet love story with a cannibalistic subplot then you've come to the right film.

After some kind of catastrophe meat has become impossible to find but a local butcher keeps supplying his loyal customers (who are also his tenants) with their daily iron requirement by all means necessary. I'm not giving away the plot by revealing "they're killing and eating humans". We find this out very early on in the film. Not long after we realise that the customers are in on the secret as well. This shocking fact is secondary to the main plot of the film, which itself is probably secondary to the style in which it is made.

The butcher employs resident handymen for the building but the main reason for employing them is to get a fresh supply of meat. A former circus performer (Louison) is the latest for the chopping block but he's a quirky character and beguiles the butcher's daughter and she decides to save him. We get amusing glimpses into the lives of the other residents, each one more bizarre than the one before.

This film is directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. I've seen Amelie (directed by Jeunet) and the styles are similar. Both films create their own worlds in which we become fascinated by the lives of the quirky characters that inhabit them. However, while Amelie, while in a world of her own, at least lived a recognisable Paris Delicatessen is set in a fantasy world of what looks like the only building still standing in a large city. However there is still television and electricity (and postmen) because the plot requires them.

Like Amelie the charm of the film is the little details in the film that may or may not be crucial to the plot, such as the short sighted daughter buying two of everything in case of breakages and Louison's saw playing talents.

The overall tone is definitely positive and funny (really, even with the cannibalism). Basically the motto is love will conquer all. Thank God, Caro and Jeunet for that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "No-one is entirely evil. It's the circumstances. Or we don't know what we're doing.", 5 Dec. 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Delicatessen [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
Set in a rotting wasteland where food and barter replace money, Dominque Pinon's unemployed clown (a gentle-natured cross between Popeye and Klaus Kinski) takes a job as handyman-cum-dinner in a rundown apartment owned by a butcher who hacks up the hired help to feed his other, not too morally particular residents. Complications ensue when he falls in love with the butcher's daughter and she enlists the aid of an underground group of vegetarian terrorists to help her save him. The butcher himself is beginning to feel remorse ("No-one is entirely evil. It's the circumstances, or we don't know what we're doing") but that doesn't stop him trying to make mincemeat out of his prospective son-in-law. There's more, but you probably won't believe me.

What starts out as just your average cannibalism comedy gradually wins you over, drawing you into the damaged lives of the block's credibly eccentric inhabitants, and even comes up with an entirely new way to get out of a trapped bathroom, but not one I'd recommend trying at home (unless you're being pursued by a cannibalistic butcher, of course). Nice little touches abound, such as the butcher's clumsy short-sighted daughter buying two of everything in case she breaks them or the granny who has tin cans tied to her so that her family can find her if she gets lost (no prizes for guessing what happens to her). You may not think you'll like it, but you probably will in spite of yourself...

The muted sepia tones are well captured, and there's an excellent extras package as well, including a genuinely informative audio commentary by Jean-Pierre Jeunet on a disc well worth buying - if it's to your taste.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, funny, creative and DARK, 1 July 2008
This review is from: Delicatessen [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
When recently asked by colleagues what my favourite film was, I said I couldn't pick one in particular, but a French film called Delicatessen would certainly be in the top five.

"What's it about?" they asked, as one would expect from a small group, all of whom had yet to see it:

"In a post-apocalyptic French apartment block in a world in which the resource we call meat is scarce, the Landlord, a butcher whose shop is annexed to the building, serves his clients the meat of tenants that get behind with the rent."

That's enough to put your average film lover off, and my colleagues, which is both true and a shame.

This film is multi-layered due to aspects of the building and the various characters, the tenants, who reside there. It's a black comedy, it's a creative masterpiece, it's a love story, it's a thriller, it's a joy and it has few peers - Amelie would one, although Amelie dispenses with the dark humour, gains a little from advances in CGI (and budget) and as a result becomes a worldwide hit.

One of the tenants has rid himself of the need to purchase any food types by flooding his apartment to make it a rampant breeding ground for snails and frogs.

If that isn't enough reason to spend 90 minutes of your life watching it, I'll stop right there.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious!, 3 Feb. 2006
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Delicatessen [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
You probably know him best for "Amelie" and "A Very Long Engagement," but Jean-Pierre Jeunet did an entirely different kind of comedy in "Delicatessen," a wicked black comedy that deals with... um, cannibalism. It's a twisted, dark story populated by the oddest characters that the writer could possibly have imagined -- and man, is it funny.
It's the postapocalyptic future, where food is so scarce that grain is used as money, and meat is completely gone. The setting is an apartment building run by a local butcher (Jean-Claude Dreyfus), who feeds his tenants in an unusual way: he hires assistants, then turns them into tomorrow's din-din. His newest assistant is the gentle vegetarian ex-clown Louison (Dominic Pinon).
But the butcher's plans get thrown for a loop when his cello-playing daughter Julie (Marie-Laure Dougnac) falls for Stanley and (unsurprisingly) wants to save her love from a fate worse than entrees. So she contacts the vegetarian resistance, the Troglodytes, and tricks them into invading her father's house, on the night when he plans to slaughter Louison.
Okay, let's get this straight: cannibalism is not funny. But comedies about cannibalism CAN be very funny, if done well. And "Delicatessen" manages to be a funny comedy in the tradition of Terry Gilliam, with the warped direction, surreal direction and strange settings. What was later precious in "Amelie" is weirdly ominous here... not that that's a bad thing.
It's also a challenge to create such a dark, bleak setting and somehow inject offbeat comedy into it. For example, one sex scene is juxtaposed against various activities (carpet beating, cello playing) -- all in the same rhythm. It's a moment of pure comic skill. But at the same time, Jeunet slips a bittersweet love story into the middle of the strangeness, relying on Pinon and Dougnac's strong chemistry.
The oddities of the characters are what take this dark comedy to the next level: a tough postman; a pair of brothers who make "moo" boxes, and an aristocratic old lady who goes to great -- and unsuccessful -- lengths to kill herself, Rube Goldberg-style. Julie and the innocent Louison are a bright spot, but the Troglodytes are a bit over-the-top. Really, must they be THAT dumb?
"Delicatessen" is an acquired taste. Okay, now that I've got that out of my system, here's the real end of the review: Jean-Pierre Jeunet's dark comedy is a bit hard to swallow at first, but the wickedly funny characters and offbeat script will win you over.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One to take to a desert island, at least you will have a smile on your face, 8 Feb. 2007
By 
Four Violets (Hertford UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Delicatessen [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
Can a film which is about cannibalism, a terrible future for the earth and uncomfortable themes like suicide really be gentle, funny and lovable? This one is. Its the film I have watched most often, year after year, and still laugh out loud at. This is visual humour, and even thinking about some of the ridiculous situations (two people testing a squeaking bedspring by sitting on the bed and bouncing from side to side in unison, the squeaking synchronised with all the other bizarre goings-on in the house; an unlikeable character with a hatchet buried in his head and a surprised expression on his face) - it makes me smile to think about them and laugh out loud to watch.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real treat, 4 April 2007
By 
L. J. Thompson "LadyLivvie" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Delicatessen [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
This film is a really wonderful find. It was recommended to me by a friend a couple of years ago and has remained a firm favourite of mine ever since. If you want to see a slightly off the wall film with a great plot and hilarious visual gags, pick this one, it is one of the best!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great film...vanilla blu-ray, 20 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is for the amaray case blu ray edition and not the studio canal collection digi book. The film itself is a visually impressive dark comedy and the transfer does the film justice. Plenty of grain and no DNR, blacks are deep and the orange tone is intentional. The original 2.0 audio is here in lossless DTS MA and it sounds great. However all we get is the film and a scene selection...thats it! No commentary or retrospective documentary or even subtitle options. The film is presented in its original french language with english subtitles. Great transfer of a cult classic but for the asking price this blu ray is not worth it.
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Delicatessen [DVD] [1991]
Delicatessen [DVD] [1991] by Marc Caro (DVD - 2002)
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