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A Cat in Paris - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
A Cat in Paris
Directing: B
Acting: B-
Writing: C+
Cinematography: B+
Editing: B
Animation: B+

It's kind of hard to characterize A Cat in Paris. It's something different, even though it's got a story with nothing much new to tell. The script, for which three writers are credited, is filled with oversimplified and clunky dialogue. Being a rather brief -- at 70 minutes -- animated feature, the oversimplification is to be expected. The clunky part is less forgivable.

Honestly, there's too much talking. It's a rather pleasant, even a bit charming, experience if you just ignore what people are saying. Pay too much attention to the expository lines, about a little girl whose mother is a Superintendent bent on capturing the uber-stereotypical criminal who killed her husband, and you're apt to think, Who cares? I couldn't quite bring myself to care, anyway.

But then there's the cat of the title, who really serves as a supporting but pivotal character. By day he hangs out with Zoe, the little girl, who has refused to speak since her father's death. The cat's name is Dino. Dino brings Zoe lots of dead lizards. By night, he makes his way to an apartment a few blocks away and accompanies Nico, a cat burglar. Except he's a burglar who actually has a cat with him, ha ha.

A Cat in Paris takes on some moral themes and seems to stick with indecision about them. Clearly we're always meant to think of Nico as a good man, a "good guy" -- ultimately misunderstood by Zoe's mother at a key moment. Only the gangsters are presented as the "bad guys." There's a spark between Nico and Zoe's mother. We are meant to root for them to end up together. But why? I didn't really get it.

That said, if nothing else, this movie is great to look at. It has real artistry, in spite of odd depictions of human characters that make breasts look like half-coconuts hidden under shirts. To be fair, this is a world in which even a fly has a large set of white eyes with tiny black pupils. The good stuff is in the wide shots of the city of Paris, which are uniformly beautiful. Between that and the gorgeous score by Serge Besset, there's a transporting quality to the mood and tone -- at least as long as the characters aren't talking too much. And they do talk a bit too much.

I'd say this is a movie more for people with an eye for animation, as opposed to people looking for a particularly great movie. There's a lot of skill on display here, with a net result being above average, but only slightly. A Cat in Paris is more pretty than it is compelling.

A feline brings girl and thief together in A CAT IN PARIS.

Overall: B
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