Starring Guillaume Gouix, Anne Le Ny, Bernadette Lafont and Hélène Vincent
Written and Directed by Sylvain Chomet
Director Sylvain Chomet sets aside animation for a while to direct his first live action feature, and in doing so he provides us with some great visuals. Some. There’s a shot of the protagonist, Paul, a Parisian pianist who doesn’t speak, wakes up from a psychedelic dream and the plants behind him bring put his wide green eyes. There’s also the charmingly antiquated Paris that we’ve seen in his earlier movies like The Illusionist. That said, Chomet doesn’t condescend into showing us a Hollywood, postcard version of Paris. He finds time and place to include racially diverse characters who are content in living in the city after its many glorious eras. What a world to live in for Paul, who can’t fit into the present and can’t access and accept his past. But these little moments never get to the warm, magical effects that his animated movies have. He could have gone farther, and without having to make parts of it into a chanson-styled musical.
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