Any expectation that Salomon’s profound story might be depicted in grown-up, searching animation that’s still all too rare, is quickly dashed. Instead of being brought to a place of soulful contemplation, Charlotte merely becomes cinematic Ambien. What a tragedy.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
As much as Charlotte Salomon’s life is inherently worthy of admiration, and that it’s a valid creative choice on the directors’ part to make a tonally modest and straightforward depiction of the events, one can’t help but yearn for a version where her oeuvre and its stylized interpretation of her intimated universe had been a more deeply intertwined with how her prolific and unimaginably tragic story was told.
It’s a compelling journey often rendered inert by quick transitions from one tragedy to another.
Sometimes, the animators find an expressive style to match difficult content – a suicide, a mercy killing and several sex scenes – and sometimes they just make the images of Salomon and the refugee with whom she falls in love seem leaden in comparison to the artist’s sprightly line.
It’s a handsome film, but a conventional one, rather missing the opportunity of allowing Salomon’s thrilling uninhibited style to inform the film’s aesthetic.