Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Secret of Kells

I'm an enormous Pixar apologist, but I have to say, The Secret of Kells is better than Up.

The Secret of Kells is inspired by The Book of Kells, which is a gorgeous illuminated manuscript of the four gospels from the New Testament (and which, incidentally, plays a part in Finnegans Wake), that, you'll read elsewhere, is one of the most important artifacts in Irish history. And... well, I don't know what else to say in terms of synopsis, because the film left me breathless. From the opening pre-credits sequence -- a lot of which is in the official US trailer -- The Secret of Kells completely ravished me with its visual splendor, the sinuous vitality that lives and breathes onscreen; every frame has some beautiful detail that I lost myself in. Or I would've if the plot had been an afterthought; to be honest, you could argue that the plot is just an excuse for the majority of the visuals (it certainly doesn't push too far beyond any Proppian prototypes -- it's basically a coming-of-age story of an artist), but the final sequence is the emotional crescendo of the film and had me in tears. (Which isn't itself a singular accomplishment, as I've cried or been choked up while watching Spirited Away, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, and The Iron Giant (still Vin Diesel's best work).)

Film of the year.

Indie rating: This Mortal Coil - "Song to the Siren"

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