Where it fumbles is in the framing device.
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As crushing as it is stirring, the gritty fable co-written for the screen by Clapin and Laurant (“Amélie,” “A Very Long Engagement”) finds an ideal visual medium in the filmmaker’s evocative animation.
You may also feel so exhilarated watching an insanely creative voice in animation flex his storytelling muscles that you don’t realize the huge lump in your throat.
Simply put, this is an expertly directed first feature. Clapin’s willingness to be patient as a scene unfolds, to let the hand experience the surreal images from its perspective, to let the quiet captivate the audience is beyond impressive.
A highly original and rather touching account of loss, both physical and emotional.
I Lost My Body (J’ai perdu mon corps) is sit up and take notice animation.
All of this letdown occurs only in the last 15 or so minutes, however. Until then, it’s good grotesque fun watching the hand make its way across town, scuttling Thing-like on its fingers. (Make it a double feature with the Addams Family reboot, if you like.)
I’d hazard to say it’s one of the most original and creative animated features I’ve ever seen: macabre, of course — how could it be otherwise, given the premise? — but remarkably captivating and unexpectedly poetic in the process.
It focuses equally on moments of shared connection and incidental loss until the two feel indistinguishable.
The movie abounds with imagination, but is unfortunately too unnerving — even nauseating — to enjoy.