Finding Nemo (USA, 2003)
Directed by Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich
Starring Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe
IMDb Top 250: #174 (19/1/14)
Film reviewers have to walk a very difficult tightrope when describing films that they love. People who value our opinions, for whatever reasons, expect a level of passion and detailed knowledge to convince them how and when to spend their hard-earned money, and we work hard to provide such knowledge and passion on a regular basis. But often a critic will revert to childhood nostalgia or some other form of sentiment to unconvincingly gloss over flaws which to anyone else are in plain sight.
Gravity, which has just garnered 11 BAFTA nominations and a further 10 for the Oscars. Regardless of its eventual performance at either ceremony, Finding Nemo (itself an Oscar winner) does a much better job at conveying this underlying theme. While their stories may seem equally straightforward on paper, the storytelling here is better, the characters are more rounded, and there is less of an overwhelming sense of effects cornering the market for innovation. As great as the visuals here are, they do not distract from the story as those in Gravity often did.
Monsters, Inc. as one of the high points of PIXAR's output. While it doesn't have quite the emotional depth or narrative complexity of the Toy Story films, it is very hard to find any other fault with it. It's a beautifully-made, beautifully-acted, beautifully-written film which will continue to enchant audiences for decades to come. One only hopes that the upcoming sequel came live up to the same standards.
NEXT REVIEW: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)