Twomey’s mastery of colour and exquisite blend of traditional Afghan-inspired imagery with cel animation techniques is not matched by such a confident command of tone, which rarely shifts out of a single mournful register.
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The picture sings and inspires.
Cross-dressing in the story is merely a tool for survival, but such border-crossing is inevitably rife with unintended consequences beyond narrative ones.
In its alternating of Parvana’s day-to-day struggle with the tale she tells herself, the movie doesn’t promote bromides about stories and storytelling transcending reality. Rather, it demonstrates that the way imagination refracts reality can provide not only solace but also real-world strategy.
Adapted by Anita Doron from the award-winning novel by Deborah Ellis, The Breadwinner delivers a heart-wrenching coming-of-age tale within a nation that’s lost its way.
A work of striking beauty and affecting emotional heft enhanced by an Afghan-themed score by Mychael Danna & Jeff Danna, The Breadwinner reminds us yet again that the best of animation takes us anywhere at any time and makes us believe.
Delighting in the ancient tradition of storytelling as a means of education and understanding as well as entertainment, Nora Twomey's The Breadwinner is a richly animated jewel.
An ambitious but occasionally uneven animated film.
Not unlike her gutsy protagonist, Twomey moves through the charged landscape with extraordinary agility. Combining gripping suspense with a quote from the immortal Persian poet Rumi, she creates a stirring final sequence from the rising chords of terror and resilience.
It’s notable that since her hair is cut short and she’s wearing male clothes, none of the men suspect that she’s not a boy despite her chosen male name being only slightly less conspicuous than “McLovin.” Being evil is not the same thing as being intelligent or observant.