ByPaul Donovan, writer at
A jerk with an opinion. An explorer of transgressive cinema. See more things about movies at
Paul Donovan

This was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Movie, and it is very different from all of this year's other nominees.

1. This is a Brazilian movie, but there is no intelligible dialogue, so you don't need to worry about reading subtitles.

2. It's set in a strangely abstract world, where a little boy named Cuca lives. He spends his time living in a country house, looking at psychedelic seeds. Plus, he can see music.

3. One day his father leaves to find work, and doesn't come home. This deeply upsets Cuca, and he gets very depressed, until he ends up being taken to a big strange city.

4. The animation style mixes crude, crayon-type styles with computer-generated sequences that make you wonder if you're high.

5. There are scenes of people performing manual labor that are depressing in its subject but beautiful in its symmetry.

6. It's hard to always know exactly what's going on, because the story and style are both so abstract. This leaves things open to interpretation.

7. The movie combines political issues with personal, emotional issues. It's an unusual mixture, but you can't help yourself being swept into it all.

8. People that need concrete stories with specific characters will be frustrated with this film. You can't understand it in a very logical manner.

9. This is a uniquely presented story that takes you on a dream-like emotional journey that you can understand in your heart, if not in your head.

What did the movie mean to you? Or was it too abstract to really enjoy? Let us know!


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