The long awaited trailer for the Viggo Mortenson starred The Road, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Cormac McCarthy (he who also penned No Country For Old Men), has finally been released:
It certainly looks apocalyptic – and strikingly like the grim Children of Men from a few years ago . The visuals are stunning, as one should expect from the man who made The Proposition. Director John Hillcoat has proven he’s a master at creating substance out of style in broken down, dark worlds. In The Road he tackles a potential end to the world, a time and place seemingly devoid of beauty, something that was not true of the paradoxically beautiful landscapes in The Proposition. The Road is going to be a grim, harrowing, difficult film to watch, perhaps even more so than Children of Men.
The reviews for Pixar’s forthcoming film Up are starting to roll in and, as has become the norm with Pixar’s films, they’re the laying the praise on pretty heavily. Up, directed and created by Pete Doctor, was selected as the opening film for the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and, if I’m not mistaken, that’s a first in the history of the festival. Never before has an animated film been selected for such a honored spot at Cannes. And it seems that those who saw it there are delighted. But that’s not surprising considering the way Pixar has been producing quality films for viewers of all ages – nuanced, subtle, emotionally powerful films that are challenging and entertaining at the same time. Arguably, Pixar’s nince films have taken them on the best run of any studio in recent memory. Nine films, all quality, all resoundingly successful, both critically and at the box offices. But, hey, that’s a discussion for another day. Here are the reviews:
My official review is scheduled to run when the movie opens in late May, but there will be hundreds online and in print from Cannes, so I see no harm in making some unofficial observations. Such as, this is a wonderful film. It tells a story.The characters are as believable as any characters can be who spend much of their time floating above the rain forests of Venezuela. They have tempers, problems, and obsessions. They are cute and goofy, but they aren’t cute in the treacly way of little cartoon animals. They’re cute in the human way of the animation master Hayao Miyazaki.
** From Variety’s Todd McCarthy:
Depending on what you think of “Cars,” Pixar makes it either 9½ out of 10 or 10 for 10 with “Up,” a captivating odd-couple adventure that becomes funnier and more exciting as it flies along. Tale of an unlikely journey to uncharted geographic and emotional territory by an old codger and a young explorer could easily have been cloying, but instead proves disarming in its deep reserves of narrative imagination and surprise, as well as its poignant thematic balance of dreams deferred and dreams fulfilled. Lack of overtly fantastical elements might endow “Up” with a somewhat lower initial must-see factor than some summer releases. But like all of Pixar’s features, this one will enjoy a rewardingly long ride in all venues and formats.
“As of May, Best Picture of the Year” … “visually inventive, emotionally compelling comedy-adventure” … “Amazingly, “Up” is by turns serious and funny, poignant and frivolous (when it needs to be), but also highly and unexpectedly romantic.”
And though it’s not yet summer, we can declare that Up, like WALL-E, will prove to be one of the most satisfying movie experiences of its year.