City of Lost Children - Preview Thoughts

This film is a spectacular journey into a visually stunning and grim, imaginative fairytale. It is a dark yet humorous poem of caricatures and dreams.

The opening scenes reveal to us a man grown quickly old because he cannot have dreams, so he tries to steal them from kidnapped children (hence the title). From here we are introduced to kind and slow-thinking circus strongman One (Ron Perlman) and young mature Thief Miette (Judith Vittet). Along the way we meet a pair of back-stabbing siamese twins, a sextet of cloned brothers, a cult of voluntarily blind 'cyclops,' and a talking brain in a fish tank.

Advice for those about to watch the film for the first time: Pay attention. If you don't, you're likely to miss one of the many links chaining the plot together. Or an awesome eye-haiku.

Here are some things to think about as you watch: Which characters are the real monsters? Everyone is at least a little weird, but only a few really deserve the devious title. Think about the interesting relationships between youth and innocence. What were the professor's motivations before he lost his memory, and what are they now? Finally, why does the cyclops' leader shout so loudly, when they can all hear a pin-drop?