1 December 2017.
Pixar Studios, originally created by John Lasseter and friends in 1995, started off with a huge bang on the release of their innovative and brilliantly animated film, “Toy Story”. Yup, that’s the one that had us all rooting, laughing and crying at various points of the delightful story about the interaction between kids and their toys coming to life. Unforgettable, and ingrained in all our hearts.
This year they have come out with their 19th animated feature – another whammy – maybe even more exciting, warmhearted and more pertinent than all the rest. Depending on your subject preferences, of course. It’s even a delicate slap in the face of that fellow who wants to build a wall to keep out Mexicans! For COCO, besides being a wonderful adventure, is also about the family life and heritage of this old and proud country. It has become one of the most successful box office hits worldwide.
Little Miguel, who wants more than anything to be a musician, is being kept from his dreams because of some twisted family tradition. His sweet great grandmother Coco, his loving parents and fierce grandma are celebrating the important Day of the Dead, when all Mexicans remember their deceased loved ones, gathering around their photos with flowers and candles.
But Miguel has his heart set on a talent show instead. With his silly dog Dante in tow, he runs off, landing in the wondrous Land of the Dead where his adventures unlock some old family secrets and hangups.
With shades of South America’s penchant for magical realism, vibrant music and an almost all-Latino and Mexican cast of voices, including co-director and co-writer Adrian Molina (along with Lee Unkrich), this is a timely, heartfelt tribute to all that is lovable and worthy “south of the border”…
C’EST TOUT POUR MOI *** (vo French)
A lovely film, directed by and starring its subject Nawell Madani, a young woman of Algerian background who overcame the numerous difficulties that life threw at her to become the successful stand-up comedienne she is. Lovely because she’s a beautiful person and because it is about love, for her father, her sister and her wider family and friends (and their’s for her), and about the passion with which she pursued, at some cost, what she wanted to become.
This will be a tearjerker for the more tender amongst you but they will not be cheap tears. This girl is for real. In French of course, and often pretty ripe French at that, but it serves its purpose. The film is not a masterpiece but it is thoroughly enjoyable and will certainly leave you feeling good.
(This was written by a friend, as I couldn’t be present)
THE SNOWMAN – no stars
Why, oh why would the talented Michael Fassbender (or Charlotte Gainsbourg for that matter) agree to such a miserably grey, horrific crime thriller?!
Neither the grim serial-killer story, nor the bleak cinematography is of any interest. Keep far, far away. And miss it when it gets on TV.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.