An Arab boy, Abdullah, loves his donkey, Bim, but another boy, Massoud, who also happens to be a prince, is jealous of Abdullah and his relationship with Bim, so Massoud steals the donkey ... See full summary »
In Paris, Chinese cinema student Song Fang is hired to work as the nanny of Simon by his divorced mother Suzanne, who works voicing marionettes in a theater. Suzanne is having troubles with her tenant Marc, who does not pay the rent, while she waits for the return of her older daughter Louise, who lives with her father in Brussels.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Oscar winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient, Chocolat, Caché) is a pleasure to watch. In this film she plays a harried mother with her flying blond hair symbolizing the mess of her life as she tries to raise a young son, with a husband off in Montreal writing and a daughter in Brussels. Life is not easy as she tries balancing 10 things at once. But, isn't that what we all go through? She hires a Chinese film student (Fang Song in her film debut) to watch her child, Simon, (Simon Iteanu, also in his first film).
Acclaimed writer/director Hsiao-hsien Hou doesn't bother with plot in this film, and I am given to understand that much of the dialog was extemporaneous. It is a credit to Binoche and the others that is gives us a picture of French life.
The film is purported to be an homage to Albert Lamorisse's 1956 short, The Red Balloon. In this film, the balloon floats in and out of the story without apparent contribution to what is going on. It is not the balloon that becomes a friend and companion to the boy, but the nanny.
It is particularly French - a slow film requiring much patience to appreciate.
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