Three Colors: Red (1994)

Three Colors: Red Review

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Three Colors: Red Movie Review

Three Colors: Red is a 1994 French Polish mystery film directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski. It is a solid, but still overrated film.

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I feel something important is happening around me.

And it scares me

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Three Colors: Red Review

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The main problem I’ve had with Three Colors: Red is the implausibility of its plot. It just seemed almost impossible to happen. I admittedly liked some of its thought-provoking themes and the film definitely can be smart in certain scenes with particularly strong dialogue, but the plot remains problematic.

Not only do the two main characters meet so coincidentally, but they also continue to have really unbelievable experiences and most of the film was actually quite difficult to buy in terms of actually happening in real life.

I did think that Kern and Valentine were well developed, but not the best. The acting from both Jean-Louis Trintignant and Irene Jacob is very strong and they both gave such good performances. But the direction from Kieslowski continues to be the problem for me.

He just does not direct his films in the most interesting fashion. I do think that the story, though implausible, is interesting on paper, but in execution it wasn’t as the film is once again very slow and at times even boring. It lacks energy in both character interactions and dialogue.

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Three Colors: Red Review

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Three Colors: Red is undoubtedly in the middle when it comes to this Three Colors trilogy. It is infinitely better than ‘Three Colors: White’ but I would say that ‘Blue’ definitely is the best of the bunch. Overall, this one is solid, but again highly overrated.

Three Colors: Red is another overrated entry in this trilogy which definitely has an interesting plot, but that story is also highly implausible in too many of its plot points. The characters and acting are strong, but the film is again not particularly involving to watch. It is obviously better than White, but inferior to Blue.

My Rating – 3.5

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Three Colors: White (1994)

Three Colors: White Movie Review

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Three Colors: White Movie Review

Three Colors: White is a 1994 French-Polish comedy drama film directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski and starring Zbigniew Zamachowski and Julie Delpi. It is a weak sequel.

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What counts on bridge is memory. And mine is excellent

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Three Colors: White Movie Review

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It is about equality with the film depicting Karol Karol, a shy man who, after being left by his wife in humiliating circumstances in Paris, loses his money, his residency, and his friends. As a deeply ashamed beggar in Warsaw, Karol begins his effort to restore equality to his life through revenge.

The film may sound good on paper, but in the actual execution it is far from good. Whereas the previous film in the trilogy was very much a drama and a tragedy, this is more of a comedy even though the circumstances are not really comedic. It is a black comedy in its style.

And that did not work for me at all. Kieslowski just does not know how to do comedy and he should have done a straight drama instead as the humor here wasn’t great and the film is not funny, at least not to me. I also really did not like its crime elements introduced later on.

Karol Karol is a fine protagonist and I sympathized with him. Zbigniew Zamachowki definitely gave a very strong performance in the main role. Julie Delpi, on the other hand, is just not as memorable as she plays a basic bitch and nothing more than that.

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Three Colors: White Movie Review

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Three Colors: White is weakly directed by Kieslowski and ‘Three Colors: Blue’ was in my opinion a much better, more emotional and overall richer film. Here only the first act worked as it was quite moving in its couple of scenes and I rooted for the main character and felt sorry for him. The movie then lost all of its power when it tried to be funny and it went into an odd black comedy territory that just did not work for me. It isn’t a bad movie, but it is pretty weak overall.

Three Colors: White is much inferior to its predecessor. It is well acted and I liked the first act. But the rest was just not good. The film then went into odd black comedy territory and that just did not work for me as it wasn’t funny and it wasn’t interesting too. It’s a weak sequel.

My Rating – 3

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Three Colors: Blue (1993)

Three Colors: Blue Movie Review

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Three Colors: Blue Movie Review

Three Colors: Blue is a 1993 Polish-French drama film directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski and starring Juliette Binoche. It is a solid, but boring film.

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Now I have only one thing left to do: nothing.

I don’t want any belongings, any memories.

No friends, no love. Those are all traps

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Three Colors: Blue Movie Review

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It is about a woman who loses her husband and child in a car accident and tries to live a normal life afterwards. She tries to get rid of all their things and forget but the past still haunts her and her husband’s past ties catch up with her and she has to deal with them.

The plot itself is quite good and the film is thematically very solid. It deals with grief in a very solid and realistic manner and it portrays a broken woman in a very honest way. However, it isn’t as deep as it thinks it is and it doesn’t have anything deeper and new to say about grief and loss and it just sort of presents its story without diving deeper into it.

I found Juliette Binoche’s performance to be superb here and it truly is one of her career best works. She had to play a devastated woman and she did bring it emotionally. She gave a magnetic performance in her movie as this entire story relies basically only on her as we got to see a couple of more minor characters and that’s it.

Three Colors: Blue definitely is a slow movie. But it is not a slow-burn in a positive sense. It is mostly a very boring, tedious experience that is slowly paced for the sake of it and mostly pretentious and not truly artistic.

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Three Colors: Blue Movie Review

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I found the direction solid and the cinematography is excellent. Some choices are great such as the use of the color blue (liberty) as well as that interesting editing technique with interesting cuts that – when over – bring you to the exact same scene. The film is definitely very well crafted overall technically and it is powerful in its emotion at times, but it is too depressing, too slow and ultimately an overrated movie that gets too much credit. I do hope that the rest of the trilogy is more interesting.

Three Colors: Blue is a very boring and depressing movie that is solid but far from great. The film is technically accomplished with excellent cinematography, editing and direction and the performance from Juliette Binoche is terrific. It also has its emotional scenes. But it is way too slow and tedious and it doesn’t delve deep enough into its themes.

My Rating – 3.5

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Day for Night (1973)

Day for Night Review

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Day for Night Movie Review

Day for Night is a 1973 French drama film directed by Francois Truffaut. It is another overrated French movie.

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An actress who won’t appear in a bathing suit is ludicrous!

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Day for Night Movie Review

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Jesus, how many more French movies are over-praised up to this point. I am just baffled at the majority of the input from this country and why Hollywood loves it so much. I honestly have no idea and it annoys me.

Here we have another dull and ultimately pretty shallow movie which tries to give us the entire filmmaking process as it follows the making of the movie and everything that goes with it, but it is so concerned with the love affairs and relationships between its characters that it becomes a tired, boring telenovela that rarely has anything to do with the film business itself.

The actors did an okay job, but nobody really stands out. The same goes for its characters. There are too many of them and not enough stay in your mind. I do think that some stories here and some scenes were interesting and even had great conversations and interesting points to state, but most of them were not like that and I was ultimately bored.

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Day for Night Movie Review

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Day for Night is well filmed and overall well made, but overlong and another one of those French movies that are obsessed with too many details and not enough heart or genuine story at its core. Francois Truffaut made much better movies than this one and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film win was just thoroughly undeserved in this scenario.

Day for Night has a couple of interesting scenes, but most of the film was one giant, boring telenovela with too many forgettable characters and an over-reliance on soapy elements and not enough story. It is a very overrated film that did not deserve its Oscar at all.

My Rating – 3

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is a 1972 French comedy film directed by Luis Bunuel. It is an overrated, plotless film.

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You’re better suited for making love than for making war

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

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This is such a typical Luis Bunuel work and it is one of his weaker ones in my opinion. It shows all of his excesses and problematic qualities in one frustrating package. I get that it has the theme of hypocrisy but it wasn’t executed well at all.

It seemed that it had no plot at all. It was just an excuse to feature a surreal, farcical adventure with a bunch of friends who want to have dinner together but are always interrupted. It had potential as it deals with interesting themes, but only the first act was interesting and the other ones were either dull or annoying.

Some segments worked but others did not. I liked some of the sexual stuff here, but some was frustrating. As for those surreal dream sequences, they were okay, but far from the director’s best. He shows again with this movie that he was great as a short subject director and not as feature director as ‘An Andalusian Dog’ remains his best effort.

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is well acted and mostly well made, but overlong and frankly boring in some scenes. Its type of humor is so obviously French in its situational and odd comedy and it mostly did not work great. I didn’t smile, let alone laugh, once and thus this is a failure for me as comedies are supposed to make you smile. It received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and it is not the worst film to get that award, but is one of the weaker ones.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is your typical Luis Bunuel film which relies too little on plot and makes no sense for the majority of time. Some segments worked, but most did not and the film was even annoying at times. It is your typical French comedy that isn’t really funny and is rather overrated.

My Rating – 3

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Timbuktu (2014)

Timbuktu Movie Review

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Timbuktu Movie Review

Timbuktu is a French-Mauritanian film directed by Abderrahmane Sissako and released in 2014. It is about the city of Timbuktu which is under the terror and occupation of ISIL. The film was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

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I’m Abdelkarim’s driver. I have a message from him:

“He can’t do anything to help. It’s over

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Timbuktu Movie Review

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This is the worst movie nominated for 2014 Foreign category at the Academy Awards. It is not bad, but it is not good also mainly because it is another one of those politics movies which only the people interested in politics and this particular subject matter will find interesting. Others like me find it boring and very uninspired from start to finish. Yes, it is very relevant and also hugely important for all the goings-on right now in that region, but the movie fails to bring that necessity and power to the story which means that the execution is poor.

The acting is quite good with each and every performance being quite solid and serving the purpose. But the characters are not well developed and the script is so-so. It is well filmed and made, but the directing should have been way better as well as the editing which is weak. It is technically solid, but again, nothing too remarkable. And the running time is too short, but again, it is dull even though the movie is that short which is really saying a lot.

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Timbuktu Movie Reviw

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Timbuktu way be well filmed, well made and it is important and very relevant, but it fails to bring the power and importance from the script to life with uninspired direction, very poor characters and above all slow and boring approach. It is naturally important and politics fans will most definitely find it appealing, but for others, this is a weak, so-so movie that did not deserve any of its nominations for sure and it is the weakest nominee for Best Foreign Film without a doubt.

My Rating – 2.5

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Eyes Without a Face (1960)

Eyes Without a Face Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

Eyes Without a Face Movie Review

Eyes Without a Face is a 1960 French horror film directed by Georges Franju and starring Pierre Brasseur and Alida Valli. It is a very strong, truly memorable horror movie.

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My face frightens me.

My mask frightens me even more

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Eyes Without a Face Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

It is about a doctor who goes out of his length to help his daughter get a new face after she got disfigured in an accident. This is pretty much something that could come up from the mind of Rod Serling and surely the film reminded of a lengthy Twilight Zone episode. And naturally, being a huge fan of the show myself, I ate it up and I loved this film.

Yes, I agree with the critics in that the film is very contemporary today given all the fuss around cosmetic surgery and it was executed in a way that it can be creepy and disturbing even today. A very admirable, timeless horror film this is. I loved the story, its poetic elements are strong and the film’s ending is simply beautiful and emotionally rewarding.

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Eyes Without a Face Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The acting is very strong and both Pierre Brasseur and Edith Scob did a very good job, but it is Alida Valli who stole the show here and proved how great of an international actress she was. She killed it in such a great, villainous role and her acting is a great mix of theatrical and subtle. Her character and the doctor are both great and I loved how Louise eventually rebelled and her story is so strong.

Eyes Without a Face isn’t a perfect film as its flaws are pretty obvious. The surgery sequence is a bit too gross and overly sensational in approach and in my opinion the third act was filmed in an awkward manner and some scenes were either unnecessary or not at all well paced. But other than that, the film is great and it is a shame that the French rarely made horror movies as this was a proof that they could be great at them.

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Eyes Without a Face Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

So I loved the atmosphere and of course the film is so well acted, directed, filmed and particularly scored as its score is gorgeous and very memorable. The entire film is poetic and artistic, but still containing strong horror elements. The dog attack scene at the end was brutal and the surgery scene is highly unapologetic as well leading to one of the most brutal horror films of its time. Those two scenes and the ending are my favorites. Of course I loved the make-up effects and that mask and especially the new face looked very real. The only scene that rang false was the stabbing moment which was silly and laughable how stupidly it was filmed, but the effects are stellar and the film is otherwise very much ahead of its time. It is again a proof of how great a year 1960 was when it comes to horror and it’s one of the best French films of the period, much better than those infinitely overrated dramas of the time.

Eyes Without a Face is a bit too gross in its surgery sequence and the third act was badly paced, but the film is otherwise such a stellar, ahead of its time horror film that is both artistic and emotional in approach, but also horrific and filled with great genre thrills. The acting and direction are great, the effects are excellent, the score is gorgeous and the film is very memorable owing to a bunch of unforgettable sequences such as the aforementioned surgery one, the dog attack scene and the ending which is beautiful.

My Rating – 4.5

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Fantastic Planet (1973)

Fantastic Planet Movie Review……………………………………..

Fantastic Planet Movie Review

Fantastic Planet is a 1973 French animated science fiction film directed by René Laloux. It is the best animated sci-fi film ever made.

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What a shame we can’t play with her anymore

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Fantastic Planet Movie Review……………………………………..
The story is fascinating and incredibly original. Blue giant humanoid Draags rule the planet Ygam and they use human Oms as pets until they eventually rebel. Needless to say, the film deals with a lot of interesting themes such as the relationship between different species, ignorance, racism and yes, even genocide.
It isn’t only sophisticated in script, but also very engaging and simply riveting to watch. It is one of the most purely imaginative and fantastical sci-fi films that I have ever seen. The level of detail exhibited here is just meticulous. The world building is extraordinary and I in the end felt that I have just set foot on this planet myself. That is how inviting this movie is.
That vastness and variety of space is beautifully conveyed through the use of absolutely fabulous hand-drawn animation with such a wonderful comic-stip sensibility to it that I just adored it. The character design is some of the the best that I have ever seen and of course the film is psychedelic and weird at times, but always beautifully animated and filled with a high level of detail that I believed this planet entirely.
The harshness and brutality of the Ygam planet is so well established as all of its animals are dangerous and all of the plants are carnivorous. The designs of all these creatures is weird, yet incredibly authentic and unforgettable. The color palette is also fantastic and the use of blue is overwhelming and interesting.

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Fantastic Planet Movie Review……………………………………..
I loved everything about Draags. Their way of living is pretty interesting. I loved their method of learning, very advanced. How they used Oms as pets raised many ethic questions about keeping smart species as pets, but I have to say that the relationship between the two species isn’t established as properly as it should have been. Some plot holes are irritating. How the Draags did not realize that Oms can speak? How did they not realize sooner how intelligent they were? All of these questions are never answered and they remain pretty obvious plot holes.
But as I said, I loved their technology and I really liked every ritual that was present here with both species. I would have gone with less nudity, but I guess it was required and the sexuality/mating element definitely was important for the story.
The character development is weak in Fantastic Planet as it doesn’t bother with creating fully personalized Draags or Oms. However, this is one of those sci-fi stories that do not need individualized characters as it is epic and deals with the whole two species and thus it does not require fully realized individuals in it. The voice acting is very good and believable. But I have to say that the mouth movements weren’t well synhronized with the dialogue and that is the only apparent flaw in an otherwise stellar animation.

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Fantastic Planet Movie Review……………………………………..
Speaking of dialogue, I definitely wanted more of it, but what we got was still great and some discussions are very interesting here. Fantastic Planet is awfully short and its ending is just way too abrupt, but I liked that it ended on a positive note and to me the highlights were the intriguing beginning, those lessons as well as the exploration of the planet. Those adventurous scenes were the standouts. Despite it being short, the editing is actually very deft and of course its score is very evocative of its mood which is dreamlike and strange. René Leloux directed this movie brilliantly and he surely is one of my favorite animation directors. I would definitely call this movie a work of art.
With beautiful, stylistic hand-drawn animation, extraordinary world building, an admirable attention to detail and such an imaginative, yet thematically sophisticated story, Fantastic Planet is also very dreamlike and strange accompanied by such a great score and phenomenal creature designs. Consequently, this artistic French classic is one of the best that both animation and science fiction have to offer.

My Rating – 4.5

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A Man and a Woman (1966)

A Man and a Woman Movie Review………………………………………………..

A Man and a Woman Movie Review

A Man and a Woman is a 1966 French romance film directed by Claude Lelouch and starring Anouk Aimee and Jean-Louis Trintignant. It is a solid and beautiful, but very problematic film.

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If I had to go through this again, what would I do?

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A Man and a Woman Movie Review………………………………………………..

The film is about a young widow and widower who meet by chance at their children’s boarding school and whose budding relationship is complicated by the memories of their deceased spouses. Now to me it is obvious that this premise is great and pretty interesting as I have never seen a similar plot in a romance flick before. I thought that definitely made the film feel original.

However, the execution is quite troublesome. Mostly the director Claude Lelouch is here to blame as this is an excessive movie with obvious style over substance problems. Everything is polished, beautiful and artistic to the point that it becomes too much and even overly abundant, especially because it hurts the plot as it rarely focuses on it. But mostly the structure with the flashbacks was incredibly off-putting as I personally dislike such an approach in a movie. Yes, it benefited from it a couple of times, but more often than not, it was hurt by it.

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A Man and a Woman Movie Review………………………………………………..

The character development is okay, but having in mind that this is in a way a chamber piece, it definitely needed to have been much stronger. Both of them are quite likable, but not as interesting as they should have been as they never quite carried the movie. But I liked the performances as Jean-Louis Trintignant is quite good and Anouk Aimee deserved her Oscar nomination as she had some great, emotional scenes in the third act.

Of course A Man and A Woman is a beautiful looking movie. The cinematography is magnificent and I loved its experimental approach to it as it regularly shifts from color to sepia to black-and-white. That is rarely done in cinema and here it was executed wonderfully. It made the movie much more special. The score is also superb and naturally its theme song is beautiful and I loved that it was used often.

The film features a couple of solid and definitely interesting discussions, but the dialogue still left me unsatisfied as it wasn’t as sophisticated or as involving to carry the entire movie. But to me those flashbacks are the major reason why it disappointed me a lot as they were excessive and sometimes honestly quite boring with all of those racing scenes being just so dull and overabundant.

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A Man and a Woman Movie Review………………………………………………..

The highlights are certainly the beginning and naturally its entire third act which was just beautiful to behold. I loved the sex scene – so emotional, dramatic and ultimately an important plot point. There you see the best examination of this particular subject matter. But the ending itself is where the movie shines as it uses its superb score and cinematography to sell that beautiful ending where they reunite at the train station and the results are so stellar that they elevate the overall movie to much greater heights. But still it is an overrated film that is solid and never great. It did not deserve its four Oscar nominations and two wins and only the actress nod was deserved in my opinion.

A Man and a Woman is a solid, but deeply troublesome film that is ultimately a quintessential example of style over substance. It has a great and interesting premise that is unfortunately well utilized only in its couple of scenes, the flashback structure is quite off-putting at times and the dialogue and characters are never as great as they needed to have been. The cinematography is magnificent as is the score and the ending is definitely beautiful, but the entire film is inherently flawed and in the end overrated.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Painting (2011)

The Painting Movie Review……………………………………………………..

The Painting Movie Review

The Painting is a 2011 French animated fantasy drama film directed by Jean-Francois Laguionie. It is a solid and respectable, but flawed movie.

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A simple drawing can be more elaborate than an elaborate painting.

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The Painting Movie Review……………………………………………………..

A painter has left a work incomplete and that causes a conflict between the three groups – ones who are entirely painted, ones who lack some colors and those that are only sketches and looked down upon. Three friends, one from each of three classes, go on a quest to find the painter so he can finish the painting and bring peace.

That is the plot here and of course you’ve got some ‘Toy Story‘ in it, but to me it still felt authentic as it dealt with paintings and the painted characters and that was interesting and somewhat original. I liked its adventurous spirit and the film is engaging to watch. But the message of the film and the entire political conflict here is fairly predictable and familiar.

The characters are very problematic. Some are more memorable than the others, but most are very weakly realized and frankly not at all interesting. That was one of the biggest problems of this movie. But the voice acting is quite the opposite as it is actually very good and professionally done.

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The Painting Movie Review……………………………………………………..

The Painting is one of those French animated films that are very artistic both in their approach and execution. I am of course talking about the animation. It is so artistic in style. Now this is a two-edged sword and let me explain. The scenery is gorgeous and some of it is undoubtedly breathtaking. There are a couple of sequences here that are just beautiful to witness. I loved that the movie that featured paintings also felt like a painting in and of itself with an animation done in watercolor and it fits into the overall storyline so well.

It is a very colorful and wonderful movie. However, the character design is to me very troublesome. I just disliked it as it felt odd and very unappealing in its rough style. Of course, some characters had to look like that owing to the story, but it still could have been done better and more appealing. It is a movie that looks great as a whole, but the characters in it look rather odd.

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The Painting Movie Review……………………………………………………..

The Painting has its great moments such as that ending which is somewhat expected, yet very well done and animated. I really liked some scenes here, but it still disappointed me as it wasn’t as entertaining or as exciting as it needed to be. It is very well directed, but not that well paced and overall it should have been more complex in terms of characterization and storytelling. In the end, I did like it, but it is a lost potential as it could have been immensely better.

I really liked the animation in The Painting which is so fittingly artistic and sometimes quite beautiful to witness, but I disliked the character design which felt rough and odd to me. The story is solid, but too simplistic, the characters are entirely forgettable and although the film is very well made and sometimes inspired, it could have been much better anyway.

My Rating – 3.5

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