Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ratatouille d. Brad Bird, 2007

I'm late to the party on this one - I did see it opening weekend, I just didn't write about it - so I'll just say that I think pretty much the same things that all the other people that really like this movie think. That is: it's gorgeous; it's a near-perfect account of the nature of artistic greatness, specifically filmmaking.

I only add: I found the script and the voice-actors a bit slipshod in the first section. Specifically, the theme structure was great, but the dialogue left me a bit let down. Any hesitation to fully embrace this movie first viewing was on account of this. I just don't feel like the dialogue, and especially its execution, sets up the rest of the film very well. (I'm speaking, specifically, about everything that happens before Remy and his rat pack split up.) Also, if you want to take the filmic route in analyzing Ratatouille, the exchange between Remy and his father ("If it's garbage, why are we stealing it?!?!?) has got to be a dig at lesser filmmakers, right? Especially those celebrated as great who really are settling for recapitulation. Then: what of the cooks and whatnot in the kitchen? They also recapitulate, sticking to tried recipes instead of creating. Their walk-out on Linguini (whose first name is Alfredo, I just learned this viewing) and Remy is a statement that greatness is often misunderstood, even by those who are (nearly) great themselves. When it boils down, Brad Bird is making some awfully big headed claims - Ratatouille seeming awfully biographical, at least in mission statement, at times - but who can argue with him when his films are this good?

For a great piece of writing on Ratatouille (and some on Paprika, which is only a little bit better than alright (er, the film, not the writing)) check Ryland.


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