Sunday, March 21, 2010

Review: The Secret of Kells

The Secret of Kells
Dir. Tomm Moore
Year: 2009
Aus Rating: PG
Running Time: 75mins

I'm going to fess up right from the get go: I haven't the foggiest idea what The Secret of Kells is going on about. Minimal research has told me about the Book of Kells, but that still doesn't help me. Throw in the movies' enchanted forests, mystical foreign lands and weird ghost girls who turn into wolves and I basically sat down for 75 minutes without the faintest idea as to what I was watching. Thankfully what I was watching was pretty, so it has that going for it.

The Secret of Kells is an Irish hand-drawn animated film that surprised with a nomination at the recent Academy Awards in the Best Animated Feature category. The film isn't anything particularly exciting - if ancient religious books and Irish lore circa the ninth century is your idea of exciting then by all means, be excited - and manages to be as successful as it is because of its, at times, rapturous animation beauty. So many gorgeous sights to behold within this movie despite the rather simple design of the characters. I particularly found myself in awe of a moment involving a pit of butterflies. At times even flirting with a sort of art deco design, The Secret of Kells wouldn't have been my pick for a token arty nomination, but I can't say that the branch weren't thinking for themselves when they jotted it down on their ballot. B-


Colin Low said...

Don't leave us hanging! So what would've been your pick for a token arty nom?

Glenn said...

Mary and Max, definitely.

richardwatts said...

It's a classic hero's journey narrative. Beautiful, beautiful film.