A Cat In Paris (Une Vie De Chat) (PG)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner05/04/2012

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 69 mins

Beautifully animated and gorgeously designed, this is a hugely enjoyable and deservedly Oscar nominated French adventure with an emotionally engaging central story, delightful characters and a terrific score.

What's it all about?
Co-directed by Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol, A Cat in Paris (Une Vie de Chat, original language fans) centres on Zoe (Oriane Zani in the subtitled version), a shy, near-mute young girl who lives with her overworked police detective single mother Jeanne (Dominique Blanc), who, in turn, is obsessed with catching Victor (Jean Benguigui), the gangster who murdered her husband (and whose death has traumatised Zoe). One day, Zoe follows her cat Dino and discovers that he has a second owner, reclusive cat burglar Nico (Bruno Salomone), who prowls the rooftops of Paris at night with Dino in tow. However, when Victor and his goons come after Zoe, Nico comes to her aid and the pair team up to avoid Victor and help Jeanne capture him.

The Good
Deservedly earning an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, A Cat In Paris is beautifully drawn throughout, with the colourful and distinctive style deliberately echoing expressionist paintings. The film is also packed with delightful visual details, with Serge Besset's terrific score creating a wonderfully noirish atmosphere that evokes 40s crime dramas.

What's interesting is that, unlike in American cartoons, Dino is just a cat and behaves like a cat throughout – there are no talking kitties here. As a result there are several brilliant running gags, most notably Dino's multiple encounters with a yapping neighbourhood dog.

The Great
The likeable characters are superbly well drawn and the story is genuinely heart-warming, even if all the gunplay and general darkness may prove a little strong for younger viewers. In fact, the overall message of the film is extremely moving and the powerful themes (overcoming trauma, moving on from grief, finding a family unit) are surprisingly adult for an animated drama.

Worth seeing?
A Cat In Paris is a delight from start to finish, thanks to beautiful animation, likeable characters, a terrific score and a superb script. Highly recommended. Note that the film is playing in both subtitled and dubbed versions – check your local listings to find out which version is playing where.

Film Trailer

A Cat In Paris (Une Vie De Chat) (PG)
Be the first to review A Cat In Paris (Une Vie De Chat)...
image
01 Sabotage (tbc)

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Terrence H...

image
02 Paddington (tbc)

Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins

image
03 The Maze Runner (tbc)

Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter

image
04 Blue Ruin (tbc)

Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves

image
05 The Fault in all Our Stars (tbc)

Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Willem Dafoe

Content updated: 25/04/2014 09:02

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Cupcakes

Charming, cheerful and plain good fun, Cupcakes is an uplifting and visually arresting musical comedy.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films