Whether one is an animal lover or not, the chance to in essence sit with these animals as if up close and in their pens is remarkable and engaging.
| Original Score: 4/5
The images are meant to accumulate shame, and they do. But they also might be too much.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
The question the camera seems to ask is: What are animals to us and what are we to them?
| Original Score: 3/4
Look closely at how Côté approaches those metal bars - you're never quite sure what will pop into view and who the real prisoners are.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Mr. Côté ... forces you to look at the often unseen. It may not be pretty, but it is essential viewing.
For the most part, it shows exactly what it shows, so that when even the simplest cinematic mediation insinuates itself, it feels a bit like poetry - or conceptual magic.
Bestiaire is, most profoundly, about the dynamics of looking, an exercise in studying gazes that are either unidirectional or, superficially, at least, reciprocated.
Cows stare dumbly ahead; a llama paces back and forth in front of a wire-mesh fence; lions and tigers loudly rattle their cages.
| Original Score: 3/5
erving up artfully framed, static-camera compositions of the animals within their mismatched environs, Cote's actuality-style catalog of context-free tableaux invites auds to free-associate with the scenes put before them.