Chicken with Plums (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Chicken with Plums (2012)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Whimsical and melancholy, Chicken with Plums is visually striking and dreamily compelling despite its occasional narrative missteps.

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Movie Info

Teheran, 1958. Since his beloved violin was broken, Nasser Ali Khan, one of the most renowned musicians of his day, has lost all taste for life. Finding no instrument worthy of replacing it, he decides to confine himself to bed to await death. As he hopes for its arrival, he plunges into deep reveries, with dreams as melancholic as they are joyous, taking him back to his youth and even to a conversation with Azrael, the Angel of Death, who reveals the future of his children... As pieces of the puzzle gradually fit together, the poignant secret of his life comes to light: a wonderful story of love that inspired his genius and his music... -- (C) Sony

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Cast

Mathieu Amalric
as Nasser-Ali
Maria de Medeiros
as Faringuisse
Didier Flamand
as The Music Teacher
Serge Avedikian
as Irâne's Father
Rona Hartner
as Soudabeh
Christian Friedel
as Cyrus (at 22 Years Old)
Julia Camps y Salat
as Young Faringuisse
Jaouen Gouevic
as Irâne's Grandson
Timothé Riquet
as Young Nasser Ali
Angus Boulaire
as Young Abdi
François Legrand
as Schoolmaster
Laura Baade
as Cyrus' Daughter
Dustin Graf
as Cyrus' Son 1
Nomi Kaisar
as Cyrus' Son 2
Christian Sengewald
as Socrates' Student
Adolfo Assor
as Rasht Bazaar Man
Ilse Strambowski
as Old Woman Bus Driver
Dietmar Rüttiger
as Cards Player
Louis-Marie Audubert
as Anonymous Cemetery Patron 1
Bruno Paviot
as Anonymous Cemetery Patron 2
Philippe Beglia
as Anonymous Cemetery Patron 3
Luc Gentil
as Family Doctor
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Critic Reviews for Chicken with Plums

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (23)

While visually scrumptious, the movie struggles to reach a greater profundity that it never quite obtains, but its childlike emulation of a grand tragedy is indelibly precious.

April 14, 2013 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
indieWire
Top Critic

Resurrects the spirit of Middle Eastern fables, albeit with a French twist.

October 18, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

This dreamy, visually inventive Iranian drama functions on so many levels of reality and obsession that it almost ceases to entertain.

October 4, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Chicken is a movie that begins with a crescendo and doesn't sustain its lyricism.

September 20, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

"Predictability" is not in Satrapi and Paronnaud's vocabulary, and that is no small thing in this or any other movie era. But the whole those parts form never exceeds their sum.

September 20, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

"Chicken With Plums" is a whimsical, sad, diverting and altogether delightful exploration of how cinema can benefit, not only from glancing back at its own past, but by staying open to parallel forms of presentation and play.

September 14, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Chicken with Plums

In 1940s Tehran, a master musician decides to go to bed to die after his beloved violin breaks and he can't find a replacement; his life story is told in flashbacks and dream sequences featuring appearances by Socrates, the Angel of Death, and a giant Sophia Loren. An exotic and elegant fantasy drama that strikes an unique tone of despondent whimsy; beautiful, romantic stuff.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

In 1958 Tehran, Nasser-Ali Khan(Mathieu Amalric, who gives another tremendous performance) is a world class violinist without a violin. So his brother Abdi(Eric Caravaca) tells him about a Stradivarius on sale in a distant town. However, Nasser's long suffering wife Faringuisse(Maria de Medeiros), a teacher, wants to know who is going to look after their son Cyrus(Mathis Bour) if he goes. Nasser simplifies that by taking him along, luckily not getting himself killed after his son spends the entire epic bus trip running up and down the aisle. In the end, Nasser gets his violin but is still not happy. In fact, he is so depressed that he takes to his bed to wait for death. First, forget about the title "Chicken with Plums." It suggests sentimentality when the movie's mood is anything but in its sweet melancholy. However, the tone is never oppressive, as it floats along in a variety of styles, including animation, in its expressive examination of mortality and fate, going so far as to also explore the future destinies of the two children. Sure, it may seem silly to the outside observer that Nasser is so torn up about a lost violin. But as the movie sensitively shows by going back and forth in time, there are some very good reasons for his sadness that emanate from a single tragic event.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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