The Bear (L’Ours) (1988)

JEAN-JACQUES ANNAUD

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

France/USA, 1988.  Price, Renn Productions.  Screenplay by , based on the novel The Grizzly King by . Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1989.  

There has never been a better film made about animals, period; Babe is among the few that compare, but barring anything that ever utilized special effects, this film reigns supreme. After a bear cub loses his mother in a tragic accident, he traverses the wild terrain around him until he comes upon an adult (the late, great ) who befriends him and they journey off together. Their greatest threat at this point is protecting themselves from a hunter () who has every intention of shooting them both, particularly the adult. The hunter has no idea what he’s in for when he goes up against the formidable beast, and the confrontation between the two of them is really something to behold. Noelle Boisson’s fantastic film editing holds it all together, telling the story of these two creatures without the benefit of dialogue or any other means of communication. The training of both the animals is superb as are the direction and screenplay. A truly amazing experience.

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