Jim and I just watched Up this past weekend, and all I can say is...WOW! This is one of the only movies that made do all of three things: cry like a little girl, laugh like a little boy, and dazzle my adult intellect. This film marries an amazing level of creativity and whimsy to a deeply touching story of humanity. Well deserved nomination for the best picture of the year.
This is a great kids film, but it's also something that any adult can watch and enjoy. The amazing thing is that as silly and laugh out loud funny this movie is, it's core is about some extremely heavy subject matter: death, loss, regret, and the feeling that life has passed you by. If you watch the first 10-15 minutes of this movie and are not fighting back tears, then you are either a heartless block of ice or have never loved anyone or anything in your life.
And then there's the message of the film. Positive, but aware of the oftentimes cruelty of life. Yes, life is an adventure, but it's not the adventure we plan, expect, or even want. And it always demands that we reach out for people and for life itself. When a story is uplifting at the same time that it touches you in a very private way, you have something special. I was astonished how much I loved this movie, and the way it worked me up to an intense level of emotion one moment, only to find myself in the next moment staring at the screen in gape-mouthed awe at the fantastic imaginations that were spinning out of control before me, and then to be laughing in delight the next moment.
I've seen a bunch of Pixar movies, including Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo and The Incredibles (all of which I loved). Some of the more recent flicks, however, left me a bit cold. Ratatouille bored me stiff and I shut it off before the halfway point. WALL-E was cute and creative, but kind of lackluster in a way. Up is the best Pixar film yet, and I can't recommend it enough. It makes you feel alive!