(Not quite) tough-minded animated film, taken from a graphic novel by Paco Roca, effectively charts the rapid mental & physical decline of a dining-table’s worth of retirees at an old-age home. Drawn in a flat, antiseptic style, presumably to match the flat, antiseptic living conditions, the film occasionally flares into colorful reminiscences of better, earlier days as aging minds drift toward things past. And it’s this sort of obvious response that pretty much holds for the whole film, leaving more original visual ideas unexplored. Conspicuously missing is the inevitable depersonalization of continuous replacements; instead, an escape escapade that’s hard to swallow, and a focus that narrows down to two unlikely roommates. One is fading into Alzheimer dementia while the other, something of a nasty conman, excuses his behavior as realism, yet rages against the night to keep his friend from landing in the mental purgatory ward of the upper floors. Good intentions, but a missed opportunity all the same, with a squishy sentimental center.
WATCH THIS, NOT THAT/READ ALL ABOUT IT: Split the difference between these categories with Roz Chast’s new graphic novel CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT which gets almost everything right that’s missing here.
SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: This poster seems to be trying for a TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE/’03 vibe . . . don’t you believe it.