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The Red Balloon
In this deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale, a young boy discovers a stray balloon, which seems to have a mind of its own, on the streets of Paris. The two become inseparable, yet the world’s harsh realities finally interfere. With its glorious palette and allegorical purity, the Academy Award–winning The Red Balloon has enchanted movie lovers, young and old, for generations.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The December Project: Film #7
Many would have you believe that The Red Balloon is a sweet children's film about a boy and his friend, a red balloon seemingly with a life of its own. But there's something more sinister at work here.
No, The Red Balloon is actually a metaphor for an abusive relationship between a sexually charged young man and his new trophy girlfriend. He first meets her alone on the street. He initially intends to do waste with her, but she proves to be a loyal girlfriend after his mother (who he lives with because he is socially inept) tries to throw her out. Amazed by this demonstration of loyalty, the boy decides to keep the girl…
“Fly away, balloon!”
Little Pascal (Pascal Lamorisse) is bullied. By his peers, by his grandmother, by his headmaster. The world, a towering and imposing place, bears down on this wee lad. He needs a friend.
The balloon is abandoned. Tied to a lamppost by some thoughtless passerby. A bright spot against a damp, grey world. It could liberate, giving flight to one’s fancies, if only one would notice. It needs a friend.
Albert Lamorisse’s The Red Balloon is as magical a film as the heart has ever seen. Pascal, walking to school one morning, frees the balloon from its curbside stanchion and finds himself enamored as only a child can be. And the balloon, in return, is grateful and sticks…
I have heard and read about The Red Balloon for years but tonight was the first time that I had watched it. This 34 minute short that only has a few lines of dialogue, actually won a Best Writing, Best Screenplay - Original Oscar. The movie is about a boy and his magic balloon. I had a smile on my face for almost the entire movie...as I enjoyed the story while trying to figure how they filmed the balloon parts. I never thought that a French film made in 1956 would get me thinking..."My little girls would love this movie...I wish they were not sleeping because we would watch it right now"...but this is how it is with The Red Balloon....my third 5 star movie that I have watched in 2013....track down and watch this wonderful movie....it will only take 34 minutes out of your busy life....but it is worth the time.
Review In A Nutshell:
Maybe I'm just not intellectual enough to understand or appreciate this film. I found this film to be so highly ambiguous that I was left distant the entire time. It wasn't until 30 minutes in that I gained some sort of idea of what the metaphor for the balloon is, and what I came up with felt highly far-fetched. I gained this idea that the balloon was a representation of the child's uniqueness and because of its out-there quality that the majority of society are intimidated and want it gone. The common theory that people have come up with revolves around the metaphor of innocence, but I wasn't able to feel this at all. On a…
The Good: The concept. The themes. The cinematography. The special effects. The musical score. The editing. The magic. Everything about it is sheer perfection. Endlessly watchable.
The Bad: None.
The Bottom Line: A simple, timeless masterpiece, The Red Balloon is the closest thing to a perfect film that I've ever seen. Essential viewing.
Tender, imaginative and profound, The Red Balloon is one of the most beautiful and heartfelt depictions of childhood I've ever seen; Albert Lamorisse's allegorical tale captures the simplicity of being a child [and the sweet possibilities that come from that] perfectly. One of the most special things about this wonderful little film is trying to understand what the titular Red Balloon represents; of course we can explore every frame of the film and give it a new meaning, but I think we'll all see it as a poetic metaphor to the dreams and goals of a child because of how sweet and good-hearted the film is. Plus, the lovely streets of Paris are beautifully shot, supported by a stunning color…
What a beautiful little short this is. If you were to freeze frame almost any shot in this movie it would probably go down as some of the best french photography of the 1950s. Every shot is framed immaculately. This film reminded me of when I was younger and the first time I was able to hold on to a balloon. It's weird to think about but looking back on it, it fulfilled this weird sense of longing for the loneliness I felt as a kid. It was the first time I held something tangible that I knew could leave me at any moment if I so chose to let go of it. That's the essence of all things precious and to think it's just a little air in your hand.
did anyone else watch this in grade school?
Whimsical and fun, plays out like a child's imagination. The film gave off a sense of nostalgia and let me remember my own childhood sense of wonder. The humor is gentle and fun, a real treat for people of all ages.
Siempre ha habido para mí algo sumamente cautivador e interesante al ver una película donde el actor principal resulta ser un niño (y en este caso la mayoría del elenco participante lo es) y creo que es básicamente el hecho de que ¡son niños actuando!
Encantadora historia (simple pero con un toque mágico) tan cargada de comprensibles simbolismos, tan bien dirigida, y con una fotografía tan hermosa, que no precisa diálogos.
De todas maneras al finalizarla me sentí más idiota que de costumbre, porque lo primero que pensé fue: ¿Habrán utilizado el mismo globo a lo largo de toda la filmación o será como con los perros en las películas? (lo pensé en serio, no es tan solo otro chiste malo) (!)
Además, ahora sé sobre qué se inspiró Don Hertzfeldt para hacer Billy's Balloon (?)
The Red Balloon is a very simple and yet magical story of a little boys who befriends a large red balloon and goes about his normal life in Paris, mostly Montmartre, with his new friend following him everywhere.
Jeremy watched this in is Video-Film class and really wanted me to watch it. Despite having heard a lot about this movie I had never seen it. If you have not yourself, you really should. It's only 34 minutes and you should easily find it on YouTube. It won almost every prize in 1956.
Fantastiske billeder og technicolor farver.
Nu ved jeg hvor Don Hertzfeld har fået inspiration fra.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A heist film about a kid who steals a balloon and tries to dodge the consequences and resulting bad karma, but gets his due in the end.
Think the death scene here may have influenced Total Recall.
I get it - this is a wonderful piece of art and technically brilliant. It just doesn't really speak to me.
My three kids, aged 6, 5, and 2, sat and watched a sixty-year-old nearly silent French film and were absolutely riveted. This film is genius.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
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