16 May 2013 6:42 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Ari Folman, director of Waltz with Bashir, mixes live action with animation in an eccentric and ambitious sci-fi drama

The Israeli animator Ari Folman took Cannes by storm in 2008 with his shattering Waltz with Bashir – a rotoscoped marvel, mining the director's own experiences as a young conscript at the Sabra and Shatila massacres in Lebanon. The Congress – a skittish sci-fi drama based on a novel by Stanislaw Lem – at least proves he is no one-trick pony. If anything it makes its case too strongly. The Congress contains tricks aplenty and ideas in abundance. The problem comes in herding these scattered, floating elements towards a satisfying whole.

Folman juggles live action with animation, earth-toned reality with candied fantasy, to spin the tale of Robin Wright (played, naturally, by Robin Wright), a Hollywood actor on the wrong side of 40, gazing glumly at her youthful self on the Princess Bride poster. Wright's career is in the doldrums, »

- Xan Brooks

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