Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Sep 20, 2012
    67
    Fluctuating between the extraordinary and the dull, with sections of narrative explication and tangents, Chicken With Plums can be as frustrating as it is ambitious. It's more like Chicken With Plums – and the Kitchen Sink.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    Sep 20, 2012
    75
    Chicken With Plums has Iran in common with "Persepolis," but little else. Largely, though not entirely, live action, it's a fairly traditional story about thwarted love - a kind of fairy tale for grown-ups.
  3. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Oct 4, 2012
    75
    Satrapi and Parronnaud give us clues but no solution. The fun, for those of us who like fairy tales, is in guessing.
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 22, 2012
    100
    A grand, romantic life story about love, loss, regret and the sadness that can be evoked by a violin - not only through music, but through the instrument itself. It is all melancholy and loss, and delightfully comedic, with enough but not too much magic realism. The story as it stands could be the scenario for an opera.
  5. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Aug 22, 2012
    83
    Adapting Satrapi's graphic novel about a violinist (Mathieu Amalric) in late-1950s Tehran who's got a broken fiddle and a broken heart and takes to his bed, willing himself to die, the filmmakers rely on expressive eyes to carry a narrative style suitable for a silent movie.
  6. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Aug 16, 2012
    83
    While visually scrumptious, the movie struggles to reach a greater profundity that it never quite obtains, but its childlike emulation of a grand tragedy is indelibly precious.
  7. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Aug 30, 2012
    70
    It's not entirely satisfying, but there's plenty to savor in Chicken With Plums.
  8. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Aug 17, 2012
    50
    Fortunately, Chicken With Plums does have its pleasures, including Isabella Rossellini as the silkily jaded mother.
  9. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Sep 20, 2012
    63
    Amalric's performance is comically moving in the manner of silent actors, and the film is beautifully wrought with moments of enchantment. Alas, Chicken is a movie that begins with a crescendo and doesn't sustain its lyricism.
  10. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Oct 4, 2012
    75
    It's fascinating as an offbeat storytelling exercise.
  11. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Sep 6, 2012
    25
    An agony of bad plotting and whimsical, lifeless scenes.
  12. Reviewed by: Elise Nakhnikian
    Aug 4, 2012
    75
    A fable about the damage done when a young couple is forced to part, Chicken with Plums is deeply melancholic, yet so full of humor and humanity that it pulses with life even while tracing the trajectory of a slow suicide.
  13. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 19, 2012
    88
    Although the story is mournful, the movie is buoyed by a heaven-scented surrealism.
  14. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Aug 22, 2012
    83
    Just as the plot combines fantastical and biographical elements-some of it is reportedly based on Satrapi's own family legends-so the filmmaking veers from straightforward to more outsized. The tonal shifts don't always work.
  15. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Aug 4, 2012
    60
    Sit in the front – and don't peer too hard – and Chicken With Plums casts an undeniable spell. It is bold, exotic and distinctive, particularly during the animated angel of death sequence.
  16. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    Aug 4, 2012
    80
    Both winsome and sophisticated, Chicken with Plums unfolds like a rich Persian carpet woven of memories and nostalgia in a colorful fantasy Iran of 1958, twenty years before the Islamic Revolution turned the country to somber grays.
  17. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 16, 2012
    80
    The result is captivating, but not exactly moving: Nasser-Ali's grand passion is posited rather than communicated, in spite of Mr. Amalric's exquisitely soulful performance.
  18. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Aug 17, 2012
    42
    There are pleasures to be found in "Chicken with Plums" to be certain, but we'd hope for something a little more satisfying next time out from the directing team.
  19. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Aug 16, 2012
    80
    You have no idea what's coming next, except that it will be wildly creative and beautiful. These two know how to mix up a very unusual and successful cinematic recipe.
  20. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    Aug 14, 2012
    60
    There's some magic in the grab-bag method, but with all the furious wand-waving, the story itself never gets to cast much of a spell.
  21. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Sep 6, 2012
    63
    Chicken With Plums is not a thoroughly delectable concoction, but its exotic flavor is worth sampling.
  22. Reviewed by: Jay Weissberg
    Aug 4, 2012
    70
    The same winning balance of seriousness and humor that made "Persepolis" such a hit works equally well in Chicken With Plums.
  23. Reviewed by: Chris Packham
    Aug 14, 2012
    60
    The evocation of passionate love is palpable, what with Amalric's sad longing and Farahani's Nobel Prize–winning face and everything, and the honest undercurrent of melancholy keeps the whole thing from becoming unmoored.
  24. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Sep 13, 2012
    75
    A whimsical, sad, diverting and altogether delightful exploration of how cinema can benefit, not only from glancing back at its own past, but by staying open to parallel forms of presentation and play.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Lyn
    Aug 12, 2014
    7
    A slight but lovely tale animated by touches of magical realism and the expressions on Mathieu Amalric's always interesting face. One might wish that he had more drama to work with -- and more interactions with actors of comparable magnetism. (See: the terrific "Jimmy P.," with Amalric and Benicio Del Toro.) But I enjoyed the touches of exotic whimsy amid the familiar themes of love and loss. Full Review »