Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Flight of the Red Balloon

A solitary red balloon hovers over a street and a young boy talks to  it, cajoling it to come with him. This is the initial scene in Hsiao-hsien Hou first non-Taiwanese film. We are soon introduced to Simon's mother, Suzzane (Juliette Binoche), a puppeteer vocalist who has her hands full with work, being a single mom and pesky neighbors. Then there is Song (Fang Song), Simon's babysitter who has a calming effect on the scenario. We spend most of the next couple of idyllic hours with these characters and their daily lives while the solitary balloon floats. A movie that left me neither enthralled nor discontented.

Rating: * *

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