Monday, March 8, 2010

Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) NYICFF Flash Back

Because I've been attending the New York International Children's film Festival and writing up previous films as "Flash Back" reviews I find I keep coming back to this film again and again both in the reviews and in my mind. In order to get past this I'm re-posting my thoughts on the film that I posted right after I saw the film in it's American premiere:

I saw this film at the US premiere at the New York International Children's Film Festival and it really knocked my socks off.

The plot of the film has a high school senior named Makoto Konno going through life blissfully hanging out with friends, and trying to cope with the pressures of being a high schooler. On a day when everything is going wrong Makoto suddenly discovers that she has somehow become able to leap through time. Suddenly able to relive great days or correct past mistakes she thinks she has somehow managed to to find a way to make her wishes (and those of her friends) come true. Unfortunately it soon becomes clear that some of the changes have consequences that she never intended.(I dare not say too much more since the revealing too much will clue you in too early as to whats going on in the film, perhaps taking a bit of the edge off the wonder. Trust me you'll thank me once you see the film yourself).

More like a novel than a movie this film takes its time getting to where its going and its better for it. Here we have a bunch of likable kids who are simply trying to get out of school and go on to the next level, at the same time trying to deal with things like lost puddings and the members of the opposite sex. Since we get to know and to like the kids (and adults) we become invested in what happens to them. Will they make the right choice? Who can say when you have the ability to do it over again.

One of the better animated features of the last year (from any country) this is a smart drama/comedy/romance/thriller. This is unlike any American animated film of recent vintage in that it talks to its audience with out dumbing everything down or needing to follow some corporate formula for success. Here is a film that is more than just dumb jokes, but is instead about people. This is a movie that should be seen by anyone who wants to see a great movie, and not just an animated one.

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