This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
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, this Academy Award-winning short film has enchanted 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…
Simple & wonderful.
A very simple and impressive story of the friendship that forms between a boy and a red balloon, the highly acclaimed and multiple accolade winning short, The Red Balloon, is a film that completely lends itself to its simplistic premise. Its concept, while giving the false impression of being comical, is translated onto the screen by Albert Lamorrise, who impressively handles both the stellar direction and the screenplay. The Red Balloon works beautifully, not by dialogue, but by its silent feature-like presentation and gives the seemingly mundane moments of the film substantial weight. The use of colour, the music (being almost an ode to the silent era) and the naturalistic performance of the director’s son make for a wonderful achievement in short filmmaking. It may be short and it may be old, but it perfectly captures and enchants the audience as effectively today as it must have during its initial release and overwhelming reception.
The Red Balloon resurrects a buried phobia of silent, sentient inanimate objects, paranoia first encountered in the Bubble Buddy episode of Spongebob Squarepants.
The Red Balloon was the first film I ever watched in my life. The first ever. I remember vaguely, I was about four or so years old when my Mom took me to The Tribeca Film Festival (or some prestigious film festival like it). I remembered the film sort of, but it didn't grow on me. I appreciated that I was doing something new for the first time since I was born, so going to the theater was at least an interesting experience. After I left the theater, I, and other children, were handed a red balloon by the employees at the theater. 'Twas a prop replica of the balloon from the film. I went outside and noticed how cloudy…
I think this is the best movie i've ever seen
I read the book of this as a child many times but never saw the film until today. Showed it to the three kids. 10-year-old wanted to know why there was no plot. 7-year-old thought it was totally boring. 4.5 year old loved it and went to bed pretending an imaginary balloon was following him around.
Makes me suspect that it's actually one of those kids films that kids themselves don't care about but adults love, because I thought it was amazing. Beautiful way to spend 34 minutes.
já tentei duas vezes, mas ainda não entendi o apelo desse filme. mesmo assim, vai ficando envolvente lá pro final e termina de um jeito muito bonito.
Magical and charming.
Still exquisitely perfect storytelling, and enrapturing to the two-year-old, six-year-old and thirty-four-year-old all sitting on the couch together.
More Info to come
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…