Review: Delectable You (2017), by Axel Courtière

Film still from “Delectable You”, Courtesy by Festival of Nations

Oscar Mongout (Sylvaine Dieuaide) is a gourmet cannibal that attracts, kills and eats pretty women. He is intrigued by, but also afraid of, his next-door neighbour Melle Carotte (Lou de Laage). He does not seem to be able to distinguish if his interest is related to food or love. When she calls him for a dinner at her place, the vegetarian menu frightens him to death and beyond…

If it were not for the silly retro style with a lot of animated special effects in a comic-book fashion, Delectable You, directed by Axel Courtiere, based on the script he wrote together with Magali Pouzol, could have turned into a piece of heavy-handed Gothic metaphor of how we, as a species, are cursed to kill everything we love. That is also a central point here in a way, but the film is, on the contrary, quite breezy and offers a lot of fun, craft and style. Its 4:3 aspect with cropped edges, interesting sound scheme with little dialogue and the overall design seems like lifted straight from the 50’s and works well as a nod to Roger Corman’s original The Little Shop of Horrors, while the manic rhythm it offers is reminiscent of Delicatessen by Mark Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

It is obvious that Delectable You was an ambitious project right from the start, which could be the reason why this live action-animation hybrid spent five long years in development. You don’t cast Catherine Deneuve just like that, even in a tiny bit of a role. And during the post-production, Lou de Laage had actually become a rising star of French cinema, which adds another layer of pure fun to this film, that had its international premiere at the Rhode Island International Film Festival has just been screened at the Festival of Nations in Lenzing.

Original Title: Belle à croquer 
Country: France
Running Time: 15′
Director: Axel Courtière
Screenplay: Magali Pouzol & Axel Courtière
Cinematographer: Kaname Onoyama
Production Design: Bulle Tronel
Makeup Artist: Jérôme Ventura
Production Manager: Marianne Nicole
Re-recording Mixer: Olivier Guillaume
Sound: Olivier Pelletier
Boom Operator: Mariette Mathieu-Goudier
Special Effects: Jeremy Caravita
Editing: Riwanon Le Beller, Flora Volpelière
Cast: Sylvain Dieuaide, Lou de Laâge, Ophélia Kolb, Catherine Deneuve