Belle, the new anime film directed by Mamoru Hosoda, is getting a rave response at Cannes, including a 14-minute standing ovation.
Belle, the new anime film directed by Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars, Mirai), had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, and audiences there are absolutely loving the movie.
Screening out of competition in the Cannes Premieres section with Hosoda in attendance, Belle reportedly received a 14-minute standing ovation. This is the seventh longest standing ovation in the festival’s history, behind Capernaum and The Paperboy (both tied for 15 minutes) and ahead of Bowling for Columbine. Pan’s Labyrinth still holds the record for the longest Cannes standing ovation at 22 minutes.
The list of Cannes’ longest standing ovations is an eclectic collection of films that doesn’t necessarily say anything in particular about their quality. While some of the movies on the list are critical favorites and award-winners (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Artist, Inglourious Basterds), others have been more divisive films that inspired walk-outs along with applause (The Neon Demon, The Paperboy, The Beaver). Based on its first reviews, however, it sounds like Belle‘s standing ovation is a sign of another great film from Mamoru Hosoda.
Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter offered a rave review of Belle, describing an emotional experience with “often astounding” visuals. “Though constructed around teenage neurosis, which can get pretty grim at times, Belle (whose original Japanese title is Belle: Ryu to Sobakasu no Hime) is an immersive experience for anyone willing to give anime a try,” she wrote. “As in all of Hosoda’s work, the family is at the heart of real-life drama and the source of his films’ emotional climaxes, like the unforgettable finale of Wolf Children in which a mother lets go of her son.”
David Ehrlich at IndieWire described the anime film as “Beauty and the Beast meet The Matrix,” making additional comparisons to the anime TV series Serial Experiments Lain and the Persona video game series. Giving the film a B rating, he wrote, “Belle earns much of its charm from the sheer mania of Hosoda’s mind. The film may be stretched too thin as the real world and the U pull it in opposite directions, but that same tug-of-war between basic human feelings and the impossibly colorful orgy of emotions they explodes into online — the way it frays on both ends, and makes it hard for the center to hold — is also what allows Belle to feel so true even as it falls deeper and deeper into fairy tale logic.”
Belle will be released in Japanese theaters on July 16 under the title Ryu to Sobakasu no Hime (literally translated “The Dragon and the Princess of Freckles”). Anime distributor GKIDS licensed the movie in North America and has already announced plans to give it a theatrical release sometime next winter.
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