All The Little Animals (1999)
Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 8
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 3,467
In this fable set in England, Christian Bale stars as a mentally disabled man who is housebound for most of the 24 years of his life. After a dispute with his abusive father, he runs away to the countryside where he befriends John Hurt, a recluse with the strange habit of burying dead animals.
Sep 3, 1999 Wide
Aug 19, 2003
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Bale nimbly walks a fine line between Bobby's handicap and an increasingly mature comprehension of what he must do to survive.
A brave effort, certainly different, but all too emphatically an allegory.
Quite the off-kilter, half-baked eco-sermon to begin with, Thomas's movie crumbles in its last quarter or so like a stack of supermarket cans.
[It] refuses to reduce its story to simple terms, and the visible story seems like a manifestation of dark and secret undercurrents. Even the ending, which some will no doubt consider routine revenge, has a certain subterranean irony.
The adoption of 19th-century-melodrama conventions seems motivated mainly by a desire to tap into the emotional intensity they offer. I was enthralled by these tactics, but some viewers might gag.
Based on a 1969 novel by the late Walker Hamilton, this moody film is ravishingly beautiful to look at and refreshingly unlike the glib, movie-centric crime thrillers so popular with younger first-time directors.
Given his uncompromising work with the likes of Roeg, Bertolucci and Cronenberg, Thomas' directorial debut is surprisingly bland.
Christian Bale is utterly sympathetic and engaging as Bobby. He convincingly communicates both the simplicity and chaos of his character's personality and gives the film a strong emotional core.
It moves from a Cinderella fairytale with Rain Man pathos to the good-versus-evil realm of daytime soap operas (minus the sexual content).
The ingredients all seem to be there for a rich, emotionally engrossing movie experience, but the storytelling flair and directorial touch are not.
If you can allow for one irrational and unbelievable scene involving Bobby and Summers' trip to London, you're left with a decent, small- scale movie, perhaps more suitable for video than the large screen.
The screenplay is so lacking in narrative sensibilities, it's difficult to enumerate all its failings.
A strangely intriguing, darkly made, psychological allegory based on the late Walker Hamilton's only novel.
Audience Reviews for All The Little Animals
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