The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Above The Clouds


Off to the cinema again, this time to see Pixar’s Up in 3-D. And, for once, there were no annoying people in the cinema chatting, kicking or texting. It’s the honeymoon effect; I feel I am living in a charmed bubble of splendidness.

Little b-movie beforehand about a cloud making babies for storks. Which was perfectly fine.

And then the main feature. Oh my god. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film where I was so heartbroken in the first ten minutes. I mean that in a good way. Maybe it’s being recently married makes me more susceptible to love stories; but even so, the first ten minutes is one of the most beautiful, finely-judged, and I’m not ashamed to say, tearjerking things I’ve ever seen. The lump in my throat was so large I could barely breathe.

After that, well, the story kicks off proper; a curmudgeonly old man decides to have an adventure by tying hot-air balloons to his house and floating to the Amazon. Along the way, he makes friends – a young boy scout, an eager retriever and an exotic bird – and learns various lessons about growing old, regret, and letting go. Because, for all the jokes and hi-jinks, the film is all about grief and lost hope.

If anything, it could do with more comedy, if only as a relief from all the stuff which makes you want to cry. The jokes and hi-jinks are fine enough; maybe things get a bit formulaic, a bit computer-gamey in places, and a few of the talky scenes with the villain do drag, but that’s me being churlish about a film which is pretty much perfection in every other respect; it looks stunning – but doesn’t over-do the 3-D gimmickry – and it’s very nearly up there with Wall-E.

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