06 February 2011

happythankyoumoreplease (2011) / The Illusionist (2010)

happythankyoumoreplease reminded me of those indie comedies from the 90s that dealt with various creative New York people and their romantic goings on. It's about a short story writer who wants to be a novelist but who lacks the maturity for that and he finds a lost boy on the train who doesn't want to go back to foster care and ends up keeping him for a while. He also picks up this bartender named Mississippi and they amble towards couplehood while his best friend and his cousin (stepsister?) work through their own emotional hangups. It's not groundbreaking and its pretty slight and periodically very cheesy but it was generally entertaining. C

I found The Illusionist to be a film of real grace and a beauty that was at once complex and simple. An elderly French magician in what I assumed to be the late 50s travels around the UK working thankless jobs for an audience that has moved on from his old-fashioned amusements. A young girl attaches herself to him and she seems to believe he's a real magician who can supply her with all the things she desires. They live together. He tries to please her. Life goes on. There was this intense authenticity running through every scene and watching it was an experience of aching beauty and wonder. It's really amazing how affecting all the little details and background characters are. It's definitely the best animated film I've seen in the last year. Maybe in the last ten years. One of the best I've ever seen, I think. It's a little sad that Toy Story 3 is going to win this year just like whatever bogus nonsense beat The Secret of Kells last year. A

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