Flight of the Red Balloon

Flight of the Red Balloon

Flight of the Red Balloon

Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien delivers a picture of life in Paris, and homage to Albert Lamorisse's beloved Red Balloon (1956).

There's often a woman at the centre of Hou's pictures and here it is Suzanne (Juliette Binoche), barely juggling the conflicting demands of motherhood, infuriating apartment-sharing arrangements, and her art as a professional puppeteer. To help care for her seven-year-old son, she hires a Chinese film student who's working on a remake of the Lamorisse film. It's not Hou's way to build a dramatic structure around a character's difficulties. He doesn't need to: no other filmmaker alive possesses his ability to distil the essential dramas of people's lives into exquisitely observed sequences of everyday business. 

2008Rating: PG, low level offensive language113 minsFrance, TaiwanFrench with English subtitles
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Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

This eloquent study of loneliness and postmodern drift likely will be received with more admiration than rapture by the helmer's followers. But Juliette Binoche's turn as a harried single mom and pic's enlivening portrait of domestic rupture make this a highly accessible Hou.

0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

In the end what elevates Mr. Hou’s films to the sublime -- and this one comes close at times -- are not the stories but their telling.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A pleasant if supercilious homage.

2.0
0
Stuff

Stuff

press

There are no Hollywood chase scenes, no dramatic plot twists, and nothing much happens. But Hou still manages to create a warm portrait of off-beat family life in Paris, and that's the beauty of Flight of the Red Balloon.

4.0
0
Premiere Magazine

Premiere Magazine

press

This is not a children's picture, although it touches on the imaginative powers and emotional resilience of children. It's another slice of Hou's distinctly poetic realism, and as such, also a kind of tribute to Paris -- the Paris of both today and of the older film.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

A superb display of pure cinema from one of the masters of the medium.

5.0
0
BBC

BBC

press

It's a bit like eavesdropping on a bus - occasionally you hear something interesting, but it's mostly mundane.

2.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

This eloquent study of loneliness and postmodern drift likely will be received with more admiration than rapture by the helmer's followers. But Juliette Binoche's turn as a harried single mom and pic's enlivening portrait of domestic rupture make this a highly accessible Hou.

0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

In the end what elevates Mr. Hou’s films to the sublime -- and this one comes close at times -- are not the stories but their telling.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A pleasant if supercilious homage.

2.0
0
Stuff

Stuff

press

There are no Hollywood chase scenes, no dramatic plot twists, and nothing much happens. But Hou still manages to create a warm portrait of off-beat family life in Paris, and that's the beauty of Flight of the Red Balloon.

4.0
0
Premiere Magazine

Premiere Magazine

press

This is not a children's picture, although it touches on the imaginative powers and emotional resilience of children. It's another slice of Hou's distinctly poetic realism, and as such, also a kind of tribute to Paris -- the Paris of both today and of the older film.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

A superb display of pure cinema from one of the masters of the medium.

5.0
0
BBC

BBC

press

It's a bit like eavesdropping on a bus - occasionally you hear something interesting, but it's mostly mundane.

2.0
0

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