Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Original title: Une Vie De Chat
France/The Netherlands/Switzerland/Belgium, 2010. Folimage, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Digit Anima, France 3 Cinema, Lumière, Lunanime, Radio Television Belge Francophone, Rhone-Alpes Cinema. Screenplay by Alain Gagnol, dialogue by Jacques-Remy Girerd, Alain Gagnol, English adaptation by Michael Sinterniklaas. Produced by Eric Beckman, Annemie Degryse, Arnaud Demuynck, Jacques-Remy Girerd, David Jesteadt, Michael Sinterniklaas. Music by Serge Besset. Production Design by Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol. Film Editing by Herve Guichard. Academy Awards 2010.
Stylish, angular animation and a charming narrative heighten the experience of this miniature charmer, about a young girl who has voluntarily gone mute since the death of her father at the hands of a nasty gangster. Her police officer mother does her best to keep a home full of love but finds devotion to her daughter difficult in light of her duties on the street. Across the way lives a cat burglar who is getting away with major jewel heists, and unbeknownst to our young heroine is aided by her own pet feline who ventures over to the thief’s abode each night while his real mistress sleeps. When our protagonists’ paths cross with the bad guy who ruined their lives years ago and is out to commit another heist, the crafty burglar becomes an unexpected hero. Paris is drawn beautifully and the characters rope you in far more to the experience than you would expect from a 70-minute adventure so committed to a style devoid of any realism. The English-language version features voice work by Marcia Gay Harden, Matthew Modine and Anjelica Huston.