Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge (The Flight of the Red Balloon) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

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

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Super Reviewer
½ April 29, 2016
Hou's first film outside of Asia and his tribute to Lamorisse's Oscar-winning short is always engaging and pleasant to watch, even when at times we have the impression that it is drifting like the red balloon and the conflicts in it don't become as compelling as they could.
September 25, 2014
Juliette Binoche plays her part brilliantly, I guess, at least on the first half of the movie. Then I decided that I didn't enjoy the story and stopped.
January 6, 2013
Adored this film as it began to gain a little momentum, but with 2 plot points unresolved, weirdly, it just stops and kinda leaves you hanging.

Life is set in Paris and it is portrayed as both beautiful and chaotic. You're led through the wear and tear of a single mother's life with her son - including the joy and the mundane - and her attempts to balance work with the stresses of a crappy neighbour - who is also her tenant - and supporting her new employee, Song, who's just been hired as a Nanny to the young boy.

Binoche is just wonderful and supporting actors (non-actors I assume) work well with what seems to be a largely improvised script.
July 4, 2012
This movie is the first to show me that a film doesn't necessarily have to follow a plot. Sometimes, movies are just meant to show something. The purpose of this film, as I gather it, is to demonstrate the wandering qualities of children and their somewhat aloof regard towards mayhem. Children emit a sense of lightness, as does a balloon. Flight is freedom.
½ June 30, 2012
The first 40 minutes were too scattered for my taste..
½ May 29, 2012
If you like car chases and lots of explosions, this isn't the movie for you. Contemplative and subdued, this is a "slice-of-life" film that doesn't have anywhere in particular to go. I really enjoyed going along for the ride, though, finding the rhythms of daily life portrayed in the film hypnotic and authentic. I don't know what it's like to be a voice actress working for a Chinese puppet troupe, living in a cramped Paris apartment with my son, but I got a fascinating glimpse watching this film. I liked that when we first meet Binoche's character Suzanne, the shots are all medium or long, and it isn't until at least midway into the film that you get to really see her face and her expressions in close up shots. It's kind of like when you first meet someone, you get certain superficial impressions of them, but it takes time to really get to know them, and to maybe share quiet moments when you see glimpses of who they are underneath the surface. At first Suzanne kind of seems like a tornado of stress and frustration, but later, in quiet moments, we see how much she loves her son, and we start to understand what makes her tick. Song's presence in the film is muted but she has a quiet strength and gentleness that is compelling and calming. We know that she will take care of Simon and will create a thoughtful, beautiful film, too, just like filmmaker Hou Hsiao-Hsien.
Super Reviewer
May 11, 2012
Visually strong and stunning and with a naturalistic plot, "The Flight of the Red Balloon" follows the characters and Paris´s day-by-day life. Nothing different or huge happens... that´s life just as it is.
Like in "Three Times" (unfourtanely I´m just beginning to know Hsiao-hsien Hou´s work), we see a poetically filmed slice of common life.

Albert Lamorisse ´s "The Red Balloon" is brought into the movie by the film student baby-sitter Song who films a short film about red balloons. I´m pretty sure that the first scenes where we see Simon talking to the balloon and later, alone in the metro, hiding himself from it are part of Song´s film. In "The Red Balloon" Pascal takes the bus and goes alone to school, but here we clear see that Simon never stays by himself. Also, Simon is a boy of "modern times" who likes video game and stuffs alike. When he is with the other school kids at the Musee d'Orsay (to look at the Félix Vallotton's painting "Le Ballon") and suddenly turns his head up and see the red balloon seems to be the first time he really sees the balloon (and not a "fake" one of Song´s film).

I don´t know if the boy who plays Simon is a real actor, but he talks and acts so naturally that I tend to think he is not. Speaking about acting, Juliette Binoche is simply great. With a not usual character type to her, Binoche plays Suzanne (kinda mix of her previous characters in "Jet Lag" and "Code Unkown") amazingly joyful.

December 14, 2011
so beautiful to watch thanks Hou
December 10, 2011
Would like to see this soon.
November 27, 2011
first real attempt to sit through a hsiao-hsien hou film! great acting.
½ September 15, 2011
The adults are always a bit complicated. Slow and at times overdramatic, but visually artistic and pretty.
½ September 12, 2011
Huh? I couldn't get myself to watch this all the way through. I rented it because I remember liking the original short when I was young. What happened to the balloon?
½ August 4, 2011
Director Hsiao-hsien Hou manages to pay a respectful homage to Albert Lamorisse's classic "Le ballon Rouge". Beautifully executed navel gazer.
July 24, 2011
Juliette was great but didn't really enjoyed the movie - it was a bit slow & boring.
June 19, 2011
The film yearns for the carefree, uncomplicated life of a floating balloon. I yearn for my Playstation. Next.
April 16, 2011
I'm not sure how to rate this. LIked the movie....would be interested in what my Movie Buffs group would discuss and dissect in this movie. Enjoyed it, but just didn't get some of the symbolism.
March 25, 2011
Joya del cine frances, dirigida magistralmente por el gran Hsiao-hsien Hou, donde se cuenta la historia de Song, una estudiante de cine taiwanesa que, para costearse sus estudios, trabaja como niñera de Simon, un niño muy amoroso, hijo de la brillante Juliette Binoche, quien a su vez, interpreta a una marionetista (atencion a la escena donde hace el doblaje de dos marionetas al principio de la pelicula, la expresividad de Juliette es breathtaking!). Tanto Song como Simon comparten sus días en un imaginario mundo donde un globo rojo los persigue bajo la necesidad de ser rescatado.
Bellísima, profunda, muy comun en Hsiao-hsien Hou donde cada escena es un mundo de detalles. Para algunos puede parecer lenta, esta claro que no es una pelicula disfrutable por todos, pero aquellos que gusten del buen cine frances, tipicamente pausado, detallista en extremo y abrumadoramente lleno de dialogos, esta es una gran opcion que no pueden dejar pasar.
½ March 18, 2011
As boring as any other movie with Julitte Binoche. Didn't last till the end.
kylemydude
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2011
Should be getting around to soon.
February 19, 2011
like "the red balloon" this film is enchanting in its own way. the minimalism perfectly coincides with mysterious balloon allegory and gives the film a poetic feeling.
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