Up (2009)

It’s somewhat fitting that I re-watched Up after re-watching Toy Story 3.  Both movies have similar themes, when it comes to letting things go, but while that was the general theme in TS3 (along with “stay the hell away from that psychotic strawberries-smelling-like bear”), it doesn’t readily become apparent in Up until the final few scenes.  What precedes that is an epic, ridiculous and oftentimes hilarious adventure movie from the geniuses at Pixar.  The cherry on top of the sundae is that – at its heart – it’s a powerful love story, about two childhood sweethearts, Carl (Ed Asner) and Ellie, and the life they lived together and finally apart.

Firstly, yes, the story is quite … I don’t know of a word that accurately encapsulates it.  It IS ridiculous, but it’s not.  It’s unthinkable, unbelievable, all these un-words, but not.  As absurd as it sounds to say about a movie where the whole purpose is to fly a house to South America with helium balloons, Up is remarkably grounded.  That’s not to say that there’s no giant suspension of disbelief to get over, because read my previous sentence.  Flying a house with helium balloons.

The motivation behind flying that house to South America, well it’s easily one of the most amazing cinematic sequences in film history.  A wordless montage of Carl and Ellie’s romance, from the good times to the bad times, and it’s achingly beautiful enough to bring tears to your eyes in the first 15 minutes of the movie.  Carl felt like he failed Ellie in life, so in her afterlife he strives to fulfill his promise to her.  It’s heartbreaking.

Also, there’s a long-lost adventurer, dogs that plausibly talk, a funny kid and a wacky bird of paradise.

4.5 / 5

About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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