City of Lost Children is not a good film. It is fucking amazing. I think it is reasonable to say it is convention defying in precisely the right ways. The script is drawn from fairtales: you get repetition followed by an alternative, you get chains of events so that a small action causes big results. You get a hero, a smart child, a gentle giant.
But there is more to it than that. City of Lost Childen is filmed to look like a story and feal like a story. There is a sense of timelessness in the pacing. The visuals are stunning. And good god the kid can act. As can everyone involved. One man seems to be able to act the part of many clones of himself - ofent at the same time. Lots of people need credit for managing to produce the clone sceens - but they are a triumph.
The only thing I have against this film is the mint of beer I had beforehand which made me feel a little unwell. Watch the film. Many times. Skip the beer.
I will give this film 5 lost children out of a possible 5 if someone can tell me precisely why they needed a map to go through the mine field!