Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Clownfish and widower/single parent Marlin (Albert Brooks) is horrified when his only child Nemo (Alexander Gould) is taken by a diver (Bill Hunter), and goes on an all out rescue mission with forgetful Blue Tang Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) to get to Sydney and Nemo. Meanwhile, Nemo finds himself in a tank full of other fish in a dentist's office, and soon all the fish in the tank are planning an escape back to the ocean.
From start to finish we are offered a touching film, which has emotional moments and comical moments, and successfully balances the two out. The emotional aspect of the film comes from the beautifully written character of Marlin, and his protective, unconditional love for Nemo.
Through a combination of excellent screen writing and a touching, well thought voice performance from Brooks, Marlin is a character who is kind and caring, and the amount of hurt and fear he feels when Nemo is taken is very moving, and combined with the loving bond the two character share when they are together, we are offered a genuinely moving and realistic father-son relationship.
As for the comedy, the majority of the humour comes from Dory, who suffers short term memory loss, and the comically relaxed fashion with which she seems to approach nearly everything, treating it like a game more than anything else. With some well written farcical misunderstandings, the major comic relief comes from the fact Dory turns out to be a lot more intelligent than she seems - she can read and speak Whale, although so much of the character's comic qualities come from the very energetic and enthusiastic voice performance that DeGeneres brings, and which features perfectly timed and well-delivered comedy.
As for the film's animation we are offered a genuine treat, a rich piece of art work filled with fabulous colours, beautifully animated, and which never threaten to clash or become an eye sore, but come together so beautifully. The ultimate highlight is the underwater lighting effects, especially when a character isn't too far from the surface, in what is a stunning, and wholly realistic contrast. The animation also manages to make the ocean a vast, and incredibly detailed paradise, full of different species of underwater life, all of whom are designed to perfect detail - the vast number of teeth that Bruce the Great White Shark (Barry Humphries) has, the texture of Crush the Sea Turtle's (Andrew Stanton) skin, and the squishiness of the tops of the Jellyfish; and also different types of plant, and unexpected landmarks - such as the dark and eerie sunkern submarine which the sharks call home.
All in all this film is beautifully animated, and is a truly touching story about love, loyalty and (in the case of the tank fish and Nemo) a yearning for freedom, and which also manages to get a fine balance between emotional scenes and comic relief.
Stars: Albert Brooks, Alexander Gould, Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Geoffrey Rush, Barry Humphries, Andrew Stanton, Bill Hunter, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, Stephen Root, Vicki Lewis, Joe Ranft, Nicholas Bird, Eric Bana, Bruce Spence, Bob Peterson, Lulu Ebeling, Erik Per Sullivan, Jordan Ranft, Erica Beck, John Ratzenberger.
Oscar: Best Animated Feature (Andrew Stanton).
Oscar nominations: Best Screenplay (Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds), Best Sound Editing (Gary Rydstrom, Michael Silvers), Best Original Score (Thomas Newman).