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Stewart Smith

The Painting (Le Tableau)

Still from The Painting

The Painting is an animated independent film made in France in 2011. Telling a story of life in an unfinished painting, it tells a Shakespeare-esque story of a world plagued by racism in which a band of sketches and paintings searches for their painter to ask him to return and fix their world.

Rich with color and liveliness, it covers a lot of recurring themes in modern life, such as tension between completed and unfinished characters. The biggest theme, however, seems to be the use of religious metaphor. The characters feel abandoned by the painter, search for the painter, have faith in the painter, and pray for the painter. While the story itself is a nice change from the modern clichés you find in blockbusters, one can’t help but notice a few discrepancies, including a couple plot lines which are more or less abandoned as the film goes on. Some of the dialog and flow of the movie also felt a little clunky, and some of the characters seemed a bit empty.

The key aspect of the film’s allure is, quite obviously, its artistic style. Presented in a beautifully painted format with impressive color choice and form, it is a remarkable example of human expressionism.

The movie has a little bit of nudity, which may cause some giggles upon less mature audiences, but rest assured that it is all in the interest of recreating the feel of a painting, and that it’s generally no worse than that of Titanic.

All in all, the movie presents a moderately structured story with creative religious undertones in a style which breaks the modern cultural trend of paintings and turns the movie into less of a blockbuster and more of, well, a work of art.

This movie was reviewed as part of the American Cinematheque‘s Los Angeles Children’s Film Festival


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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Anthony D. Grana April 21, 2013, 4:30 am

    UK/21 Apr. 2013.Hello Stewart,
    Well Done, Enjoyed Reading Your Review. Any Possibility of Seeing This Film, in the Present Day? Keep up Your Fine Writing. Cheers/ Wishing You “ALL THE BEST”. UK/TONY.

  • Nan in England April 22, 2013, 1:42 am

    A really well written review Stewart – loved it but not sure if it is my kind of film.
    Keep up the good work though – I always love reading your reviews.
    Lots of love from Nan.

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