Coco

This film is widely considered the frontrunner for the animated feature Oscar and after it’s win at the Golden Globes expectations are generally high. Although this film was released much earlier abroad, only yesterday (on the 13th of January) could I catch a preview showing of it and I was so excited to see what all the hype was about. Although it has only been out for a limited time it is ranked the 37th best film on IMDb with an average score of 8.7/10 which is very high. (Without factoring in number of people who have rated it, it would be in the top twenty at least as due to a lower number of ratings they reduce the score.)

Coco trailerSynopsis- Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is born into a shoe making family who have banned music as generations ago when the family was only small a man, who was part of the family, walked away to pursue a career in music and never returned. Miguel however loves music and idealises Ernesto de La Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) so one night decides to defy his family and compete in the local talent show. This ends up with him crossing over into the Land of the Dead in a journey of laughter, self reflection and joy.

Positives- This film excellently uses the animation format to produce a masterpiece that encompasses: the meaning of family; life after death and many more important themes. It is very funny: Dante the dog and Hector being key devices used to contribution towards the humour that genuinely made me laugh out loud. It carried real emotional depth and although I didn’t cry, I was close to it and I can imagine that others had a similar response to the film. Although on the outlook, as it is a kids film, people may see it as a cheap throwaway however it had a real complex structure that rewarded you for investing in each individual character and challenged your judgment if you had tried to unpick the film. The landscapes created by the visual effects teams were radiant, beautiful and really demanded the quality and grandeur of the big screen; (although I imagine it would still be rewarding watching it at home on the TV.) Finally I really appreciated the underlying themes including the meaning of life etc… that this film conveyed effortlessly.

Negatives- Although I liked the idea of the spirit animals I felt like on the screen they were a bit of an eyesore that stood out as something rather odd. Also, although only fleetingly, at points during the build up I felt myself being bored by the over-luxurious amount of time we spent seeing Miguel and his family but I know that this is a very harsh criticism that others will disagree with in what is actually quite a short film.

Conclusion- I really enjoyed this film and I felt that my overall viewing experience wasn’t really tainted by my minor complaints.

Therefore it goes to number 1 of my films of 2018 which is a great achievement despite the fact it is only the first month.

1) Coco

2) Molly’s Game

3) Pitch Perfect 2

My rating- 9/10

I’m sure that this chart will soon change but it is only due to the poor quality of other films I have seen this month that leaves Pitch Perfect 2 in my third spot.

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