by-jeff-bridges

The Little Prince

I watched The Little Prince on Netflix and I can’t recommend it strongly enough. (Bearing in mind that I took Spanish instead of French in high school and thus never read Le Petit Prince and so I have no attachment to the source material at all.)

- It was visually gorgeous. The “real world” parts of the story were beautifully rendered, and then they topped that by animating the “little prince” story in a style that looked like it was all made out of paper.

- The voice acting was stellar. The cast included Jeff Bridges, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, and another dozen people I guarantee you’ve heard of.

- It was emotionally involving and engrossing, drawing a comparison between the modern world’s idea of what is “essential” and the idea that “what is essential is invisible to the eye”. They could not have gotten a film more than about 10 or 15 minutes long by simply animating the Little Prince’s journey, so they showed it to us instead of reading it to us and oh, it worked. (It scored a “blankie and plushie” level hit to the feels, too, without feeling manipulative about it.) A lot of it reminded me of the old-school Changeling: The Dreaming RPG and the theme of the conformity demanded by the modern world wearing away one’s inner child.

- I need to watch it again for a better analysis of the symbolism and metaphor and other forms of silent storytelling, but it was full of it. If that’s part of how you enjoy film I think you’ll be rewarded.

In short: two thumbs up, go watch it, you don’t need to be one of those people whose life was forever altered by reading the book to enjoy and appreciate the movie.

The crime film Hell or High Water centers on two masked robbers who clean out small branches of the same large bank all over West Texas while a Ranger tries to predict where they’ll hit next. Jeff Bridges plays the ranger and Chris Pine and Ben Foster are the robbers –brothers on a mission to save the family property from foreclosure. Film critic David Edelstein says:

Hell or High Water is one of the most haunting neo-Westerns I’ve ever seen. There are cowboys and Indians and cattle drives and bank robberies and Texas rangers, and the movie builds to a macho face-off. But the time is the present and the West—here, West Texas—is a different place. The frontier that gave birth to symbols of “rugged individualism” is now a home for the collectively dispossessed, and that macho face-off is downright mournful. In most Westerns, violence seems the only possible resolution, but this one is infused with its director’s humanism. You know there will be blood—it’s relentlessly foreshadowed—but you pray somehow there won’t be, because it’s bound to be absurd and needless.”

Welcome back to the Watchlist. Where I finally watch the messy sock drawer that is my Netflix Watchlist, because if I don’t watch it then Who Watches The Netflix Watchlist?

This Week: The Little Prince. 

This movie hit me right in the heart-cicle.  I’m disappointed in myself that I hadn’t interacted with the story before this. One time I almost bought an overpriced, but totally gorgeous, twee pop-up book version of it at Anthropologie, but I wanted to buy another pretzel, so it stayed on the shelf. I’m so glad it found me on Netflix though. It made me feel ways good movies should make you feel. I’m beating around the bush. This movie made me cry like I just stubbed my toe on a box of feels.  

List Of Movies Kevin Has Cried In (Because he has an issue with accepting and recognizing his emotions and not because he thinks it’s cool)

1. The First Hunger Games
2. Billy Elliot
3. The Little Prince

The premise is a little girl and her mom are trying to get into the best elementary school, so she can get into the best middle school, so she can get into the best college and then get into the best career in the world, and her life will be perfect. The mom has it all planned.

But the little girl, rightfully, has a panic attack during the school interview and they have to move (“Plan B is now Plan A”). They move in next to a kooky old man (Jeff Bridges), who has a plane in his yard. Soon the little girl and him become friends and he tells her the story of the Little Prince.

The little girl become more of a child and enjoys life, instead of studying as her mom prescribed her. Until the old man tells the little girl that the Little Prince dies. She feels betrayed. This is where the story of the Little Prince, and the movie The Little Prince merge into a modern fable that puts into action the beautiful truths of The Little Prince. The little girl goes to meet the little Prince after the old man is rushed to the hospital. She flies his plane to an adult world that is The Little Prince if it was set in the corporate world. The King pushes the elevator buttons, the Concited man is a police officer, and there is a board that turns the Little Prince into Mr. Prince. Eventually she takes Mr. Prince back to his rose, and she returns home to the old man. She takes with her the lesson on how to be a good adult. How to not forget that she was a child, and the most important lesson: “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

She returns to the old man and speaks the other truth this movie teaches.

The lessons learned from the Little Prince makes Mom reasses her own actions. Through the Little Prince, Mom (who has always meant well and the movie always shows that) sees the importance of allowing her child to be a child.

This movie is necessary viewing. It’s gorgeous viewing, as well. The delicate paper-machie animation of the story of the Little Prince, and the now traditional Pixar-esque animation of the little girls story, visually create a melding of the old and the new that will make this movie a classic for years to come.