The Red Balloon (1956) (G)

















Very few movies can do what The Red Balloon does in such a short time. This foreign film is only 35 minutes long and it feels like it is even shorter. It boasts an Oscar for original screenplay which is well deserved but also curious because there is almost no lines in it whatsoever. Where the recent Oscar winner, “The Artist” failed, the movie exceeds—silent communication.  “The Artist” had to spell everything out for the viewer and at times is felt condescending but “The Red Balloon” lets the viewer work out for themselves what’s going on and it lets them draw their own conclusion from the ending of the film. What’s unfortunate about this film is that it doesn’t quite carry the same impact that it did the first time on a second view. It’s still good, but it doesn’t amaze you doubly. Let’s face it, very few films can. This doesn’t stop it from being an incredibly unique film that should be watched by a wide audience. 
It’s hard to say anything at all about this film, simply because of the content and the length. It’s an art film, simple and true. It focuses on repercussions of actions and the results of simple acts on innocent people.  
This 1956 French film is so neatly crafted that I found myself asking how the crew managed to pull off some of the visual acts that they did. This is a fine movie that should be seen at least once in your life. 

Score: 4 out of 4 stars 

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