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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Dark view of human nature and how far people will go to preserve accustomed lifestyles (meat consumption, commerce, etc.) even in end-of-the-world mode.
Positive Role Models
If unemployed clown Louison and the butcher's musician-daughter Julie are any indication, folks in the performing arts are much nicer and more innocent-hearted than the rest of society (no surprise that a filmmaker would say that). Other apartment-dwellers tend to be grotesque, buffoonish types, who rationalize their flesh-eating instead of looking for other solutions (and they treat an anti-cannibal underground resistance movement more or less like terrorists).
Violence & Scariness
One character fatally shot, another lethally impaled in the forehead. No bloody gore, but it is stated repeatedly that people are eating other people in this grim future world, and the butcher forebodingly fingers cleavers and knives. There is hand-to-hand scuffling and attempted strangulation. A suicide-prone character attempts to rig up nooses, guns, electrocution devices, and explosives (usually with no success).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The butcher has an ongoing sexual relationship with a curvy tenant (occasionally she is seen in skimpy clothing/lingerie); we hear and see their rhythmically squeaky bedsprings in a sight-and-sound gag that is a metaphor for sex and orgasm.
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"BS," the f-word, the s-word (which in French is actually an "m"-word, ask any French teacher).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette smoking, including by a boy -- made to look fun when Louison blows smoke soap-bubbles.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this dark comedy-fantasy is not always easy to follow -- maybe a good thing, as it uses hints and innuendo rather than in-your-face gore to show a starving society where cannibalism reigns. Meat cleavers and knives are fondled menacingly, but onscreen violence is limited to one gunshot, hand-to-hand fighting, and a blade in a forehead, all pretty bloodless. One character is obsessed with committing suicide, and attempts (usually failing) in numerous comical ways. The villain's sexual intercourse is signified via montage of squeaky bedsprings and rhythmic chores. There are a few swear words (including the f-word). In bad-dream sequences viewers see a chimpanzee (not a very cute one, but a "pet" nonetheless) whom, we are told, was killed and eaten. A few characters (including children) smoke. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A sardonic satire on what happens when the dog-eat-dog world becomes a human-eat-human world instead, DELICATESSEN is a film best left to older teens and adults. The movie comes across like a Tim Burton fantasy aimed squarely at grownups. There's a playfulness and whimsy to all the grotesqueries, but it seems geared more to adult attention spans and intellects, as the loose-jointed plot often turns to people doing (or being) puzzling things, like a weird old man in the building's flooded basement reigning over colonies of frogs and snails, or a last-minute revelation that a motiveless murder plot had been afoot all along amidst two minor characters. There are few easy answers -- and the ending leaves things a bit up in the air, in more ways than one. But the film casts a weird spell that is not soon forgotten.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.