It's all humdrum and low key without any redeeming compositional elegance or symmetry.
This Red Balloon is gorgeously photographed, and finely acted; like the first film, it gives its plaything a real, solid dimensionality. But despite its title, it never really soars.
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.
An odd tale of life on the winding streets of Paris, The Flight Of The Red Balloon isn't without its moments of beauty, but its vague story and aimless tone is more likely to frustrate than enchant.
| Original Score: 2/5
...one of the most monumentally boring films I've ever forced myself to sit through.
French drama The Flight Of The Red Balloon has been praised at film festivals, but it's likely to divide audiences less tolerant of arthouse minimalism.
Some will read something deeper here, while others will find sweet caprice...but nothing would have been lost if the balloon had fallen to a cutting room floor.
Beautifully shot, but ultimately dull and plot-free drama that's both elusive and frustrating, despite a strong performance from Binoche.
For special tastes: for others, the film is static, punctuating the harried life of a mother who frankly does not have much reason to be frazzled.
| Original Score: C
Many will become irritated and bored; watching eggs being cracked for pancakes could be riveting to watch, but not here.
Watching this was a waste of time.
| Original Score: F
The imagery of the classic movie, where a spirited red balloon wafts unpredictably over Paris, never even attempts to reach a metaphorical height, nor does it even engage us compositionally.
For the first time, the great Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien (Three Times, Café Lumiere) has made a movie set outside of Asia. The project, alas, is of little interest.
Too contrived and self-reflexive for my tastes.
Like Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys (a two-hour adaptation of Chris Marker's 28-minute La Jetée), Hou's Lamorisse remake lasts longer than the original -- but says less.
The best of Hou's films are quiet accumulations of hints and nuances that reward the patient viewer with an emotionally rich conclusion. Not so here.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
The slow-moving Red Balloon really doesn't stack up favorably with its obvious inspiration, the delightful 1956 short fantasy The Red Balloon.
| Original Score: 2/4
Miraculously avoids leaden 'significance' in favor of a sagacious lived-in-ness.
| Original Score: 4/5
Plenty of well-meaning filmmakers advertise emotion without contextualizing it. Hou's latest film feels to me like a masterpiece responding intuitively to a masterpiece.
| Original Score: 4/4