7.0/10
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14 user 126 critic

Chicken with Plums (2011)

Poulet aux prunes (original title)
PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 26 October 2011 (France)
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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.
3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mathieu Amalric ... Nasser-Ali Khan
Edouard Baer ... Azraël
Maria de Medeiros ... Faringuisse
Golshifteh Farahani ... Irâne
Éric Caravaca ... Abdi
Chiara Mastroianni ... Lili, adulte
Mathis Bour Mathis Bour ... Cyrus
Enna Balland Enna Balland ... Lili
Didier Flamand Didier Flamand ... Le maître de musique
Serge Avedikian Serge Avedikian ... Le père d'Irâne
Rona Hartner ... Soudabeh
Jamel Debbouze ... Houshang / Le mendiant
Isabella Rossellini ... Parvine
Frédéric Saurel Frédéric Saurel ... Mirza (as Fred Saurel)
Christian Friedel ... Cyrus, 22 ans
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Storyline

Nasser-Ali, a talented musician, loses the will to live after his wife breaks his beloved violin during an argument. He searches for a replacement, and finding none that sounds quite the same, he vows to die. Eight days later, he does. This is the story of his last week of life, where we see flashbacks and flash forwards of his previous life and his children's futures. We also see appearances of a nude Sophia Loren as well as the angel of death, Azarel. As we see his life, we realize exactly why he chose to end it and the profundity of this choice. Written by Irefusetotellyoumyname

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some drug content, violent images, sensuality and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

France | Germany | Belgium

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

26 October 2011 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Chicken with Plums See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,301, 19 August 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$253,705, 9 December 2012
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Yeki boud, yeki naboud. There was someone, there was no one. That is how Persian tales begin. Yeki boud, yeki naboud.
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Connections

Features The Phantom of the Opera (1925) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Review: Chicken with Plums (2011)
5 June 2013 | by TheDelusionistSee all my reviews

Nasser Ali Khan (Mathieu Amalric) is a famous Iranian violinist; whose life takes a dark turn after his violin is destroyed. Unable to find a suitable substitute for his invaluable instrument Nasser Ali decides there's only one thing left to do: Die. After considering different methods to end his own life, he decides that waiting for death to come to him is the one that makes most sense. In the eight days preceding his earthly departure Nasser Ali reflects upon his life, his art and the love of his life. In what seems like a series of fever dreams the filmmakers progressively let the viewer in on Nasser Ali's mind and life story.

Whimsical, sweet and romantic Poulet aux prunes is a thoughtfully composed film, with a lot of heart and a typically French sense of humor. As these kinds of films go it is more interested in the little character quirks and moments they share with each other, rather than big action or plot. The charming screenplay and great command in the directing department make this film a mature effort, that reveres and references foreign fare: Namely Italian cinema and the beautiful Sofia Loren. The film is sustained by strong performances by all of its lead actors. For a film about a musician the score of Chicken with Plums is great towards the end and climax of the story, but in one instance it felt they were imitating Steve Jablonsky's My Name is Lincoln. Story-wise I think the ending is a bit abrupt and somewhat unresolved. The pieces of the story all come together nicely, but you can't help feeling that something's missing.

Personally, I'm someone that values visually compelling films Chicken with Plums and would say Christophe Beaucarne's (DP on Mr. Nobody and Michel Gondry's upcoming Mood Indigo) cinematography definitely stands out; same goes for the art direction. It's especially fascinating how the filmmakers integrate animation and different filming techniques to craft over-stylized, almost exaggerated scenery. The almost "artificial" mise en scène is appropriate for the big emotions and 'larger than life' characters portrayed. Speaking of visions, I have to mention the heartbreakingly beautiful Golshifteh Farahani. I wish the story would revolve more around her character and the love story, because to me it is the most interesting part of the film.

Moviegoers that don't mind subtitles and enjoy romantic films like Amélie (2001), Big Fish (2003) and The Fall (2006) will certainly appreciate this one.


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