Celebrating Great Films

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Inside Out

#51 at the time of writing.

This is about Riley, an 11-year-old girl, and the personified emotions inside her head that shape her childhood and battle with the complexities of growing up.

Pixar excel at making films that work on multiple levels - in particular, children can enjoy them for the colourful characters and comic action, adults can enjoy the sly jokes and emotional undertones, and everyone can enjoy the stories that weave it all together.

This film is also experienced on a different level by adults than children, but instead of just laughing at different moments, the kids are laughing and the adults are slitting their wrists.

Yes, this film is depressing. It's core message is that growing up = loss; growing up is difficult and it's ok to be sad about it. This message is hidden behind storytelling and spectacle of the absolute highest calibre, but still, I left the cinema without the spring in my step that Pixar usually evokes. Instead, I left dragging my feet.

So I find this film difficult to judge. Well, not really, it is clearly wonderful, but I'm just not sure I want to see it again. It's going to be hard enough watching my own kids grown up without reliving Riley's loss of innocence.

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