6.6/10
3,687
36 user 116 critic

Flight of the Red Balloon (2007)

Le voyage du ballon rouge (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Family | 30 January 2008 (France)
A little boy and his baby-sitter inhabit the same imaginary world: through their adventures they are followed by a strange red balloon.

Director:

Hsiao-Hsien Hou

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A red balloon with a life of its own follows a little boy around the streets of Paris.

Director: Albert Lamorisse
Stars: Pascal Lamorisse, Sabine Lamorisse, Georges Sellier
Summer Hours (2008)
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two brothers and a sister witness the disappearance of their childhood memories when they must relinquish the family belongings to ensure their deceased mother's succession.

Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jérémie Renier
Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young boy sneaks onto his grandfather's hot air balloon and together they travel over France.

Director: Albert Lamorisse
Stars: André Gille, Maurice Baquet, Pascal Lamorisse
Short | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A young boy enlists the help of a balloon seller to send birthday wishes to his Mom, in the only way he knows how, in this simple story of loss and longing.

Director: Michael Olesen
Stars: Pedro Miguel Arce, Aidan Gould
White Mane (1953)
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the Camargue, France, a young boy bonds with a white haired horse that escaped from ranchers.

Director: Albert Lamorisse
Stars: Alain Emery, Laurent Roche, Clan-Clan
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A story that revolves around three sisters who live in their grandmother's home and the arrival of their thirteen-year-old half sister.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The story of Salif Keïta, first "Ballon d'or d'Afrique" (African Golden Ball).

Director: Cheik Doukouré
Stars: Aboubacar Sidiki Sumah, Agnès Soral, Habib Hammoud
Bim (1951)
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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 »

Director: Albert Lamorisse
Stars: Jacques Prévert, Udo Langhoff
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Juliette Binoche ... Suzanne
Hippolyte Girardot ... Marc
Simon Iteanu Simon Iteanu ... Simon
Fang Song Fang Song ... Song
Louise Margolin Louise Margolin ... Louise
Anna Sigalevitch Anna Sigalevitch ... Anna
Charles-Edouard Renault Charles-Edouard Renault ... Lorenzo
Damien Maestraggi Damien Maestraggi
Edit

Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

France | Taiwan

Language:

French | Mandarin

Release Date:

30 January 2008 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Flight of the Red Balloon See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

EUR3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,222, 6 April 2008

Gross USA:

$461,674

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,475,937
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The director's first film to be shot outside of Asia. See more »

Connections

References Severance (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Lovely and nostalgic
14 October 2007 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

Much of the strength of Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien's films lies in the astute powers of his observation and a sensibility that can turn details of everyday life into cinematic poetry. In "Café Lumiere", his lyrical tribute to Japanese auteur Yasujiro Ozu, the focus was on the streets of Tokyo, Japan. In his latest film, the lovely and nostalgic Flight of the Red Balloon, Hou and cinematographer Lee Ping-bing bring their observational camera to the streets of Paris, focusing on a Parisian family as they walk the streets, sit in the park, shop at stores, and visit a puppet theater, where Suzanne, the family's matriarch (Juliette Binoche) works as a puppeteer, writing the material and providing the vocal dramatics for the shows.

Unlike the missteps of Hou's last film "Three Times" where innocuous pop ballads filled the air, the only sounds we hear are the ambient sounds of the environment: people talking, traffic, and street noises. Filmed as the first in a series commemorating the 20th anniversary of Paris' Musee d'Orsay, Flight reprieves the magic of the original "Red Balloon", a thirty-minute short by Albert Lamorisse from 1956 that has attained the status of a children's classic. The balloon is not as intrusive in the update but still maintains a mysterious if more distant presence. In the opening scenes a young boy named Simon (Simon Iteanu) attempts to coax the red balloon from its perch high above a Parisian subway station.

The balloon decides to hover for a while and then begins to follow Simon as he makes his way home from school on buses and trains. Going on hiatus, the balloon reappears now and then but takes center stage once again at the film's conclusion. The plot is woven around Simon's mother and the frustrations she faces in being a single mom: working with her puppet show, dealing with recalcitrant tenants as a landlord, interacting with her gracious Taiwanese nanny Song (Song Fang), arranging for child care and piano lessons, talking on the phone to her boy friend in Montreal, barely having enough time to provide affection for young Simon who is quiet and lonely, estranged from his sister who lives in Brussels and only visits periodically.

It is a story no different than thousands of other split households, but the ability of the impeccable cast and the lyricism of Hou bring the film alive. In spite of her emotional ups and downs, Suzanne never loses control and Hou always maintains a wistful, almost lighthearted approach as people come and go in the crowded apartment: a piano tuner tries to do his job over the clamor of voices, the couple from downstairs cook vegetables in the kitchen, and Suzanne's lawyer discusses her options in dealing with the tenant behind in his rent.

The main character of the film, however, though not always on camera, is the balloon, a shimmering object in the sky that provides the emotional center of the film. While there are no overt magical sequences as in the original, the appearance of the balloon has a calming effect, suggesting that when we lose perspective and become too bogged down in the "stuff" of life, there is a presence that follows and guides us into the night.


30 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 36 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed