Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge (The Flight of the Red Balloon) Reviews

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Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
August 15, 2011
Hou's slice of backstreet Paris is quiet, composed, almost serene in spite of itself.
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope
July 6, 2010
Watching this was a waste of time.
Full Review | Original Score: F
Fernando F. Croce
CinePassion
August 26, 2009
A visitor's beatific evocation
Nora Lee Mandel
Film-Forward.com
December 7, 2008
La Tour de Paris charmingly through the fresh eyes of a Chinese film student updating Lamorisse's beloved film while she babysits the son of the lovely, harried Binoche.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Jeffrey Chen
Window to the Movies
November 14, 2008
While Hou's cinematic techniques are as sound as ever, this time it feels as if they're being used to peer into nothing of particular, specific significance.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Stuart Klawans
The Nation
October 18, 2008
As if playing a serenely refined game, Hou transforms constraint into freedom -- which feels more to the point than any plotbound interpretation.
Kimberley Jones
Austin Chronicle
October 18, 2008
[A] sedate, ever-lovely looking film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Matthew Turner
ViewLondon
October 18, 2008
Beautifully shot, but ultimately dull and plot-free drama that's both elusive and frustrating, despite a strong performance from Binoche.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
October 18, 2008
Binoche's energy, invention and concentration are phenomenal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
September 4, 2008
The question is whether it really makes sense to turn Lamorisse's fanciful original film into a downer family drama; it's sort of like doing a modern-day version of "Narnia" where the kids never find the wardrobe.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jonathan Kiefer
Sacramento News & Review
August 7, 2008
The movie is marvelously alert to whatever wonderment may appear within it. Which, for a patient, sympathetic audience, is much.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
August 2, 2008
A winsome homage to Albert Lamorisse's classic children's fantasy short film of 1956 The Red Balloon.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Robert W. Butler
Kansas City Star
July 11, 2008
There's no editing within a scene, no close-ups. No incidental music. Just life, or a pretty accurate simulation of life.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
June 23, 2008
Lamorisse's film was a third of this length, and was lighter than air. Hou's is about the weight of air itself on a muggy day, and whether that sustains over 113 minutes will be between each viewer and his attention span.
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
June 12, 2008
The slow-moving Red Balloon really doesn't stack up favorably with its obvious inspiration, the delightful 1956 short fantasy The Red Balloon.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Beth Accomando
KPBS.org
June 8, 2008
In a film that feels so unstructured, these scenes reveal how much craft and structure actually go into Hou's films, how he endows his film with such meticulous layering of themes and ideas.
David Stratton
At the Movies (Australia)
June 7, 2008
Delicately handled and handsomely made.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Robert Davis
Paste Magazine
June 3, 2008
Even when [Hou is] working with simple ingredients, he brings along his masterful sense of space, timing, and everyday observation, which gives an actress like Binoche ample room to shine.
Evan Williams
The Australian
May 30, 2008
I fear many viewers may lose patience. But those who stay to the end of this delicate and beautiful film will be amply rewarded.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Mark Demetrius
FILMINK (Australia)
May 29, 2008
It's all humdrum and low key without any redeeming compositional elegance or symmetry.
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