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LES TRIPLETTES DE BELLEVILLE, 2003
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LES TRIPLETTES DE BELLEVILLE MOVIE POSTER
LES TRIPLETTES DE BELLEVILLE, 2003
Movie Reviews

Directed by Sylvain Chomet
Voices by : Béatrice Bonifassi, Lina Boudreau, Michèle Caucheteux, Jean-Claude Donda, Mari-Lou Gauthier
Review by Lauren Medley



SYNOPSIS:

When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno team up with the Belleville Sisters--an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire--to rescue him.

OSCAR NOMINEE for best Animation Feature and Best Original Song

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REVIEW:

When I was first advised to watch this film I was quite skeptical at first, but as I am a fan of any sort of animated feature I gave it a try. Within the first two minutes I could tell this film was going to be something special and my scepticism was blown away, this film is a hidden gem and can be enjoyed by everyone, it is also proof that animated features are not just for children.

The story follows three main characters, Madame Souza, her grandson Champion and her dog Bruno. After Champion is kidnapped during the Tour De France by the French Mafia, Madame Souza and Bruno set out to rescue him, meeting some memorable characters along the way, including the famous Belleville triplets, a Mafia boss and some unfortunate henchmen. A simple plot that leads to such a wonderful and well drawn out story that you will want to watch repeatedly. It is no wonder it was nominated for an Oscar, even though it is an often overlooked film.

The animation is very classy, you don't see animation like this anywhere now, even considering it was made in 2003. The style it has been drawn and the detail is superb, some could say the animation is dated and less sleek compared to the style we have today compared to say a Studio Ghibli or Pixar film, but for those who are willing to give any movie a go this won't be a problem, as the animation is so fluid and detailed you will be hooked. In some moments during the film, the scope and sometimes abstract way of what is being drawn will leave you shocked and wanting to see more. A perfect moment, without spoiling too much, is when Madame Souza and Bruno take the small row boat to Belleville, compared to the ships that pass them and the size of the metropolis, it's at times breath taking.

It is mostly a silent movie, there are only a page full of lines in the entire film. However the soundtrack of the film is its selling point. The main theme is 'Belleville Rendezvous', sung by the triplets at the opening of the film, (which was nominated for an Oscar). This is one of the catchiest songs I've heard in a film and can guarantee you will be humming it for days after seeing the film. The soundtrack through out is obviously influenced by a 1920's 1930's feel, which makes the whole film more enjoyable as the music captures the feel of the film so well, you will find yourself dancing along to the songs by the end. At times in the film when there is no background music or dialogue, the characters simply grunt or let out a little squeak, this sets a tone for the film and even if they never speak, you can't help but be entranced by these little gestures instead of long lines of speech, the film stands out this way and is captivating even without speech.

During the course of the film you can't help but wonder how they managed to make this gorgeous film on such a low budget of $8.000.000, which lets face it is low budget these days with some companies spending over $300.000.000 on one average movie. The film shines in many respects and can be regarded as a cult classic almost, as it has something of a following amongst film makers and film connoisseurs alike. As it never had much promotion when released or much of a fuss made over it, it became often overlooked, although did gets its recognition when it won three separate awards.

The direction is perfect through out, the director managed to make the film interesting and genuinely funny in parts. Without giving too much away, the chase scene with the very long Mafia cars and the triplets on the bike float, (you'll see what I mean when you watch it), is hilarious to watch and how it plays out is brilliant due to fantastic writing and direction. The humour is sometimes subtle, (Bruno chasing the trains), then laugh out loud hilarious, (anything with the triplets). It is not often a film make make you feel so many different emotions all at once, but this film can make you laugh one minute, make you sad the next and then totally blow your mind with something original and amazing.

In all Belleville Rendezvous is a fantastic film for anyone of any age, even if some people don't believe animation can be for adults, this film will change you mind and make you want watch it again and again, definitely watch this film if you are a fan of French cinema, Anime or silent film, basically it's for everyone. To watch it is to love it.

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