The City of Lost Children ★★★½

*watched as part of my film studies class*

One of the weirdest films I've ever seen, without a doubt. The City of Lost Children is not a film that's easy to talk about; on the most fundamental, basic level it's a tale about rescuing a kidnapped child, but it's also so much more than that. The Wikipedia page describes it as a science-fantasy film with no other genres alongside it. If I were to categorize this under a genre, it would be French. Very, very distinctively French. As such, it's a endearingly surreal experience that needs to be seen to be believed -- and, as unfortunately as it is, to a fault. Unless you know exactly what you're getting yourself into, the first half of this film draaaaaaaaaaags. I don't mean 'it drags' as in 'it's dull'. No, no, no. It drags because it's so off-the-wall that it's hard to follow. Once you immerse yourself in the insanity in front of you, it's not so bad, but it takes some time. To the film's credit, its latter half is much better, full of whacky twists and pleasantly dark humor.

I watched this with my film studies class and by the time it ended, most of the class was silent. A kid straight up left a note saying 'the French are too weird for me' -- the class just laughed. The instructor had to analyze the film for us because we were so boggled that none of us could really think straight.

And I loved it.
As somebody who adores weird cinema, this was a treat. A little too batshit-insane for me to recommend to everybody, but those who fall squarely in its target audience will adore this.