Chicken with Plums - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Chicken with Plums Reviews

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½ March 3, 2016
A beautiful fairytale in the French tradition, but with some magically realistic elements that reminded me of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's AMELIE or the Latin American filmmakers of the 90s. Sorry to see that this film didn't get as wide a US release as those films. Beautifully sculpted and circular in structure, the timeless look of this period piece will hopefully attract more of an audience, through those who find interest in Marjane Satrapi's work may be the first to seek it out.
½ September 28, 2012
Showy, bittersweet fable is stylish but empty.
March 3, 2015
From the creators of PERSEPOLIS comes the tale of a man who loses all hope and decides to die after his favorite violin is destroyed. That might sound odd, but of course it is a gross oversimplification of what goes on in CHICKEN WITH PLUMS. The central character, Nasser Ali (Matthieu Amalric), does indeed lose his precious violin, but its significance is revealed is multiple flashback sequences which give him background, motivation and depth. I don't really want to spoil anything, so I'll just say that the end result is rather poetic and touching. From a visual standpoint, it continues from the same place that PERSEPOLIS came from, while imbuing it with lots of color and fantastic elements. The film feels like a fairy tale at times, with a sense of whimsy and free-flowing creativity that flies in the face of rather depressing subject matter. Matthieu Amalric does a standup job as Nasser Ali, bringing a certain world-weariness to his character as well as youthful optimism in the flashback scenes. Ultimately, by the end of the film you understand why Nasser has chosen to just give up (although I don't condone suicide). Thematically, I think the film works on a couple of levels. First, there is the surface story which is about losing hope and one's raison d'etre. However, with a character named "Iran," I also think that there is a subtle political allegory as well. The film takes place in the 1950's and references are made visually and through dialogue to indicate that Marjane Satrapi is making commentary on this particular period of Iranian history. She also takes some potshots at America that I thought were slightly uncalled for, although no less funny in the context of the film. My only real issues with the film are that the supporting characters are mostly sidelined and/or underwritten, and the narrative structure lends itself to being a little episodic at times. That being said, though, I was quite pleased with the end result and emotionally invested the whole way. Overall, CHICKEN WITH PLUMS is a delightful cinematic confection from Marjane Satrapi about her native Iran. The subject matter is kind of depressing, but plenty of visual sugar (along with some emotional heft) helps the medicine go down smoothly.
½ April 22, 2013
This is a brilliant film composed of wit, romance and all the art and style that makes film enjoyable. With set pieces, animation and fabulous actors the directors have created a unique and memorable fable. The visuals are magical and some satirical, all dressed in a vision of charm and enveloped with the romance of music. Romance and Art are at the core of this film, it speaks of the soul of an artist and true love. Set in old Terhran the story is told with culture and warmth. It is an inspiration laced with humor, charm, beauty and at last love. This tale is universal and will touch more than one heart.
½ February 8, 2015
More depressing than Persepolis, but still carrying Satrapi's sarcastic wit and her visual talent, "Chicken With Plums" is a melancholic but stunning journey into a fantasy land of whimsy and woe.
½ January 5, 2015
in this movie, nothing happens but everything happens. A creative meditation on a man's life!
½ August 26, 2014
A beautiful story told with amazing skill and imagery. I liked it. It didn't moved me as much as Persepolis, but maybe because this one was more of a story, rather than a semi-real autobiography. But It was a good watch nevertheless.
July 26, 2014
With serious undertones but I feel best taken not too seriously and enjoyed as a fairy tale. I thought I would like it more but the ending left me feeling existential and I was not quite prepared for that.
January 11, 2013
Beautiful story from Iran, Nasser Ali Khan who has broken heart, searching for the missing part of his life. The way the story has been told is beautiful. The character progressions and connections between past and presents are well established during the film.
½ February 23, 2014
Je m'attendais à un dessin animà (C) mais c'à (C)tait bon quand même !
à ne pas à (C)couter avec le bourdon ...
June 8, 2014
good period piece reminded me of 'the red violin"
½ May 29, 2013
This is an interesting film from the director of "Persepolis". I didn't love the story, but stylistically it's original and amazing. If you like something different, give it a try.
March 23, 2014
A romantic and melancholic tale about love and loss. This poetic foreign film tells the tragic story of a suicidal musician, but in the end, this film is about much more than a broken violin.
½ November 21, 2013
Lyrical, Whimsical, Surreal... Chicken with Plums is delicious...
½ January 14, 2014
The story of a man who died of love. Amazing.
December 4, 2013
Amazing film that is a French fairytale of lost love with a pop-up book style of visuals.
ElCochran90
Super Reviewer
½ November 23, 2013
Unfortunately, Poulet aux prunes comes as a soulless story that forces everything down the viewer's throat to try to capture the audience:

i. Pretty images with digitally inserted attrezzos
ii. Tears from characters impossible to feel sympathy for, with the exception of Irâne, a character that is put to suffer without meaning or purpose
iii. Forced (and bad) comedy
iv. A forced "tragic" outcome
v. A fractured chronology so that the whole show may seem smarter
vi. An orchestral score

So, in the end, it turns out that a tragic love story that could never be was the source of inspiration behind his musical "genius". Speaking about his musical "genius", that is something we are supposed to buy because neither his music nor the violin play a central role in the film. Everything is left to speculation in a sickening secondary background. Everything we are offered is an over-stylized soap opera that ends up being your typical "French" film set in a non-modern setting with clichéd characters and your Eiffel Tower to "accentuate" romance.

Despite its interesting visuals, I think this film cheats on you and betrays you at the end. Throughout, you are left hoping for the tiny possibility to witness something in the main character's life that may help you justify his cunt attitude towards life and towards his family, home, etc. But that never happens. Everything can be summed up to a man whose death happens just because. You are, of course, supposed to swallow it. What a shame that Paronnaud and Satrapi felt to such a low degree since 2007. For the first half of the movie, I was considering the possibility whether if the whole feature could have worked better as an animated movie. After half of the film, I stopped caring.

I just wanted the bastard to die already.

56/100
November 10, 2013
The follow up too Satrapi's outstanding, Oscar-nominated animated film, Persepolis, could never live up to its predecessor, but it's still a decent film in its own right. Certainly as French as a French film gets. There are some wonderful sequences describing both the past and future of the main character's family. However, the main character himself is completely unlikable. Screaming at your caring wife that you never loved her on your dying bed? Distasteful, to say the least. Hopefully Satrapi's next isn't so acidic.
April 15, 2013
Beautifully shot, fantastic acting and a charming, intelligent script. Satrapi makes every minute of it pure joy.
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