Critic Reviews



Based on 23 critic reviews provided by
Chicago Tribune
A gem made by a filmmaker who loves life, and knows how to capture its ebb and flow and sweet complication.
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.
Juliette Binoche is outstanding as a wildly untogether single mother who parks her son with a French-speaking Chinese nanny while she whirls and worries.
What Mr. Hou has done is borrow power and some gentle intimations of a state of grace from one of the most enchanting images in movie history.
The subject is the privileged state of childhood itself - how we're all lucky to have had it and how it so easily floats away from our grasp.
A meditation on art, life, loneliness and the links between friends and strangers, the movie has a grace and humor that's wonderfully inviting.
Hou intends to celebrate the classic 1956 children's film "The Red Balloon," and he has done a beautiful job. In fact, he may well have created a future classic of his own.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
For all its fuss and fury, Flight of the Red Balloon succeeds magnificently.
Fans of Hou know just what to expect from his slow, contemplative films - and they won't be disappointed.
The balloon will resurface throughout, but far more interesting, and substantial, is the slow reveal of Simon's domestic situation.
Not surprisingly, we're left with characters that feel only half sketched and fail to resonate on their own -- but onto which much can be read by Hou's most ardent fans -- in a poetic looking film that's ultimately as inflated and empty as the balloon itself.

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