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Total Count: 7


Audience Score

User Ratings: 18
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Movie Info

Jacques, a great reporter for a French newspaper, receives a call from the Vatican that sends him to southern France, where an 18-year-old girl claims to have seen the Virgin Mary. The rumor spread so quickly that thousands of pilgrims flock to this small city. Jacques, who knows nothing about this world, agrees to join the commission of inquiry to study this case.

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Critic Reviews for Ánimas

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Ánimas

  • Jan 31, 2019
    This is a bit of an aside, of course, as it has nothing to do with the movie, but Clare Durant (who plays Alex in this movie) is a dead ringer for Drew Barrymore in some scenes. It's not always, but the resemblance, at time, is almost uncanny. With that said, this movie is definitely a bit strange, as it all comes down to what you think of the reveal/twist, which isn't really a twist when the film clearly teases it very heavily throughout the story. I don't know if this might give it away to some people who are familiar with the comparisons that I'm about to throw out, but this is sort of like Paper Man meets The Fairly Oddparents. There's a more OBVIOUS comparison I could make instead of Paper Man, but that comparison would spoil the whole thing. And that's, quite frankly, the oddest comparison I've ever made ever. Not even close, no real debate. Though, in the case of Paper Man, at least, its more...surreal aspects (as it were) are a little more obvious. This movie, in a way, engages in a lot more subterfuge in order to accomplish its goals. Alex and Abraham have been best friends for more than ten years, as Alex, when they were both eight (I assume), came into his life at a moment when he needed her. You see, Abraham lives in an abusive home, his father has anger issues and, quite clearly, takes his aggression out on Bram (as Alex refers to him) and his mother. His mother, as a result of years of abuse, isn't really all there when Alex and Bram are 'adults', so to speak. You could make the argument that Alex has helped Bram through his most difficult years. Though, at the same time, it seems to be a friendship that is one-sided, as Bram never really seems to take the time to help Alex with her issues. Her mom is missing, she's having increasingly terrifying visions, she self-harms and Bram's girlfriend doesn't approve of her and, yet, almost without fail, Bram blows her off every time. Here's the thing with this movie, I find that there's really very little going on here in terms of a narrative perspective. Alex and Bram are just living their lives, having conversations and, pretty much, doing nothing while Alex is going through this difficult time where her visions start to take over more and more and she doesn't know what's real and what's not. The film does have a solid atmosphere and tension that is slowly ramped up throughout the film, but I don't think there's that much going on here. This movie runs something like 83 minutes without credits and even with that, relatively, brief runtime, I still felt like the movie ran too long. That's as a result of nothing, really, happening here. The pacing could have been a lot better, because halfway through this I was already wanting it to be over. Then again, perhaps that's not what I want to say, but I was just at my wit's end and I wanted this mystery to be revealed to me. Not because I was jonesing for an answer, but because I was just fucking done with the movie going at a snail's pace. If it went at a snail's pace and, at least, offered something that I found interesting, then it'd be one thing. But this movie moves at a snail's pace and does not substitute it with anything. In fact, it moves at a snail's pace without really doing anything. If you're doing something, if you're building characters and relationships, which I guess you could make the argument for here, then it's fine. But there's a whole lot of dead air here, where nothing of value really happens. I didn't find the movie bad, like, at all. In fact, it's actually pretty decent (hence the score you see before you now). I just wish the movie had been a lot more interesting to watch than just meandering along until they decide what the right time is to reveal what's going on. You're really just kind of killing time until you get there and it doesn't make use of the valuable time they do have to tell a better story. The problem, in part, is that Alex and Bram aren't really shown to have a great relationship. They made a HUGE mistake in, after their introduction at eight years old, fast forwarding ten years later when both are graduating high school. You're supposed to believe that these two are best friends, but you never see any sort of connection between the two. It seems, and is later revealed to be the case, that Bram is trying to get rid of her. The reasons are revealed later, of course. But, for the most part, you see Bram being a fucking dick to Alex all the fucking time and, in spite of everything that Bram goes through, you kind of end up hating the guy. If I had seen more of their relationship as both were growing up, it would have at least shown me that these two really were as close as the film would have you believe but never actually shows. In terms of visual and cinematography, however, the movie really does kind of shine here. It's surreal and intriguing, everything the narrative isn't for its first half. In many ways, in my opinion at least, it feels like you're watching a graphic novel and I liked that visual style. Again, it's what gives the film its personality when you're struggling to stay interested in the narrative. This brings us to the reveal/twist, which I won't spoil, but it's, at the same time, satisfying and frustrating. Satisfying in that the film finally makes use of its concept in an interesting fashion and frustrating in that it came across as it was just overcompensating for everything they DIDN'T do in the first half and nothing really had room to breathe and sink in. They were rushing through a movie's worth of material in 30 minutes. That's really frustrating. Because the movie is so dull and dead for its first half and then they flip a switch in the last 30 minutes and they rush through everything, so it dulls the impact of everything that they're trying to do. I give Clare Durant credit, she gives a really good performance here and she's sympathetic, but the movie just does her no favors in how it's structured and it's paced. So, yea, we're left with a frustratingly disappointing movie. It's not bad and, in the long run, it has some really interesting ideas about mental health (even if it manages to stigmatize it further, in a way), but the movie wastes its time for most of it and, when they finally realize they gotta turn it up a notch, it's too late to properly give the events time to breathe and simmer. Decent movie, at best, but one that misses the mark in so many ways that are incredibly annoying.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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