3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Bittersweet and deeply moving,
This review is from: Chicken with Plums (DVD)
This movie was originally released at the 2011 Venice film festival and I have no idea how or why this movie only now finds its way to the movie theatre here in Cincinnati. I went to see it right away this past weekend, as I doubt this will be playing a long time in the theatre.
"Chicken With Plums" (2011 release from France; 90 min.) is based on the graphic novel of the same name. It brings the story of violinist Nasser Ali, set in Tehran in 1958. It takes a while to figure out what exactly is happening but eventually a picture emerges: Nasser Ali, upset with things in life (we will later in the movie learn what exactly), has decided to die. After considering his options (all of which he finds too gruesome), he simply retires to his room, inviting the Angel of Death to come and take him. But the Angel of Death apparently is busy with other things, and as the days go by, Nasser Ali reflects on his life, and we learn of his erstwhile true love, a woman named Irane.
To tell you more of the plot would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all turns out. Several comments: not surprisingly, given its origins in a graphic novel, the visuals in the movie play a huge role, and the movie is eye candy from the start to the finish. Second, the acting performances in the movie are at a very high level, check out of course Mathieu Amalric in the lead role as Nasser Ali, but also noteworthy is Isabella Rossellini in a small but choice role as Nasser Ali's mother. Last, I want to mention the co-directors of the movie, Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi (the latter being the author of the novel), who recreate the scenery and atmosphere of the laste 50s Tehran with a bittersweet, almost nostalgic sense (the same team also brought us the excellent "Persepolis" some 4-5 years ago, with that same sense of bittersweet nostalgia). This movie is obviously is MILES away from your standard Hollywood fare, but I enjoyed it immensely and found myself quite moved in the concluding 20 minutes. If you are looking for a quality foreign movie, "Chicken With Plums" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!