Wickedly dark, off-beat, anarchic and clever. Very original plot with some very funny moments and a subversive current running through it. Some good drama too.
Solid direction: dark lighting and a minimalist set help the post-apocalyptic, impoverished feel.
Good performances all round, especially from Dominique Pinon as Louison and Marie-Laure Dougnac as Julie.
I did enjoy a lot of the actors in this film, especially Dominique Pinon who is particularly charming. This is vital for the character of Louison, because we're supposed to see how the residents of the building slowly become attached to him, and Pinon nails that portrayal. I also found certain aspects to be genuinely laugh-out-loud funny, in particular the suicidal wife who continues to fail in getting someone else to kill her. However there was just something about the story that I wasn't connecting with. It was entirely too odd for me. I wanted to care more about the characters but I did not. The whole world was so removed from my own reality that I was having trouble even deciding who I was supposed to be rooting for (aside from Louison, who I think was the protagonist.) Even the butcher had a strange moment where it appeared he was having a change of heart, but then mere moments later he has the most dramatic case of blood-lust one can imagine. But my biggest problem with the movie are those troglodytes. For the longest time I thought they were going to be the deus ex machina that would resolve all the problems, but in the final climactic scenes they played an extremely inconsequential role. So it led me to ask, what was the point of even adding them to the story other than just making things more strange? Delicatessen is not a bad film, it definitely has its moments, but the overall story did not work for me at all.