[AFFFF ’13] Mini Review: Ernest and Celestine & The Big Night


Mini Review: Ernest & Celestine (Ernest et Célestine)


Directors: Benjamin Renner, Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar
France, Belgium, Luxembourg | Animated movie, children’s film | 80 mins | 2012 | ALL AGES

Ernest and Celestine is a film that is an absolute treasure, and one that I am so happy I got to see. As I understand it the source material is a series of popular children’s books from late Belgian author Gabrielle Vincent. The film rights were apparently in hot demand and it seems they reached the right hands, I cannot imagine this film is anything but a great adaptation of that work.

The story is that of an unlikely friendship between a bear Ernest and a mouse Celestine. They live in different places obviously and their friendship becomes a strong one, for reasons I wont mention here. This film reminds me of classic children’s stories that I would watch and read in my younger years, ones that captured my imagination and had such charm. They seem to be getting rarer these days, and it is a great feeling when one comes around.

The animation is just stunning, a real pleasure and feast for the eyes. The voice work is great too, and the combination of the two elements really brought these characters alive. This is a job well done, and I can’t recommend this highly enough.


Mini Review: The Big Night (Le grand soir)


Directors: Gustave Kervern, Benoît Delépine
Cast: Benoît Poelvoorde, Albert Dupontel, Brigitte Fontaine, Areski Belkacem, Bouli Lanners
France, Belgium | Comedy, Drama | 92 mins | 2012 | M

I had mixed feelings about The Big Night, and I am not even sure why that may have been. I actually want to see it again and see if I can sort my feelings out. This is certainly and odd film, and an at times rather funny one. It really took me by surprise because I knew nothing about this going in, it’s quirky and different that’s for sure thanks to the team of Benoît Delépine and Gustave de Kervern .

The film features two brothers Not and Jean-Pierre, with Not being the self proclaimed oldest punk with a dog and Jean-Pierre being quite the opposite. Things aren’t going well got one brother and the other finds a way of helping him. That is all I feel comfortable in saying, not knowing too much is part of that strange appeal of this film.

This is a film that I think will either grab you or you’ll be left wondering how you felt, that isn’t to say its a bad film, it’s a surreal piece in a way and if you are willing to let go and embrace it I think you’ll be rewarded. I thought it was nicely crafted and I did enjoy the performances, Albert Dupontel was especially great here. It is something different and there is no reason not to take a chance on this one.

Reviewers Note: These reviews are mini-reviews, and not full-length reviews due to my on-going health and medical issues. Unfortunately for now my reviews will be brief, it is the only way I can bring you reviews at all. Thanks for your understanding and support.

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