This review comes from my Letterboxd page, where I review all of the movies I see.
As I sit here writing this review, I'm still deciding what to rate this movie. I want to give it 4.5, but this is another movie that I feel is more of a 4-star film objectively speaking. Throughout the course of this review, I'm gonna be articulating my thoughts not just to you guys, but also to myself as I figure out what in the world I'm gonna do about that rating. Let's go on a journey, shall we?
Wow, what a weird film. This is probably the weirdest film from 2019 I've seen yet, and I love it all the more for that. There really is nothing else like this movie out there. It's heartfelt, it's beautifully animated, it feels grounded, its characters feel authentic, its story is wonderfully unique and completely oddball, and I just loved every single minute of this movie. The interactions between the characters (particularly the main two) are so charming to watch and there are some really intense actions sequences involving the main subplot, which I'm not going to get into because you should go into this movie knowing as little as possible. Netflix seems to be hosting a bit of a 2D animation resurgence here. With both Klaus and this being nominated for Best Animated Feature, it seems that there might be a return of the demand for traditional animation, and I am all for that. I've missed traditional animation a lot, and it's great to see such a beautifully-crafted traditionally animated film being nominated for Best Animated Feature.
I went in pretty sure this movie was French, but for some reason not 100% confident. As soon as the main titles showed up, I immediately knew it was French and I debated about whether or not I should switch to the original French dub. I stayed on the English dub, so I don't know how the French actors did in these roles, but the English voice cast is phenomenal. I knew I recognized Naoufel's voice from somewhere: that's the one and only Dev Patel in a voice role and he does a great job here, as does everyone else in the movie. The delivery is so natural and subdued, it just feels like the words are flowing out of the actor's mouths as if it hadn't been written on a script before. It's really great delivery, and I would recommend the English dub just for those performances.
There are definitely some odd transitions in regards to the music, with sudden tonal shifts in the music not matching what's on the screen until they cut after a few seconds of listening to it. Sometimes, that jarred me a little bit, but overall, the music choices is this film really fit well into the film. I also really love the original score of this movie. There's just a certain vibe that I get from the combination of the animation and the music, and I really love that. This is a story that I think was told best through animation, but it's also definitely an adult story. This is not an animated movie for kids, and I love that this movie was willing to take a story like this and put it to animation. This is what adult animation is supposed to be: animation that has content that is definitely not for kids but also doesn't go over-the-top with what it decides to show and/or joke about. Sometimes, over the top raunchy animated comedies can work, but I think that being raunchy or edgy just for the sake of it has caused the love of adult animation to wane a bit over the past few years. This film proves wholeheartedly that it can still be done, and I love that.
Honestly, after thinking about it, there are TOO many flaws here for me to say that this is a four and a half star movie. I hate saying it because I loved this movie so much, but I think it's true. Now, unfortunately, most of those flaws have to do with the main subplot separate from our lead character, which I don't really want to spoil here so that people can go in knowing as little as possible. Unfortunately, I DEFINITELY have to talk about what that subplot is in order to talk about my BIGGEST problem with this movie, so I will talk to you guys about that after my grade. For now, I'll try and navigate the other flaws I have without spoiling anything. There's a scene involving two mice attacking something where there's initially only two mice there. All of a sudden, a third mouse appears out of nowhere. Where did that third mouse come from? Who knows? The subject involved in the main subplot sometimes comes into contact with things that seemingly weren't anywhere near them in the previous scene, such as an umbrella towards the end of the film. I also felt that the resolution overall to this movie was really weak. The whereabouts of the main character are left a complete mystery, which really bothered me. It's supposed to be a really heart-warming ending, but I couldn't get completely behind it because I felt that the main character's arc hadn't been completely developed yet. This movie was so close to having such a profound, phenomenal ending and to me, it just felt flat.
Despite all of those flaws, however, I personally LOVED I Lost My Body more than words can describe. It's the most unique movie I've seen in a while, it's one of the most unique animated movies I've ever seen period, and it's a great exploration of the feelings of these two main characters. The English voice acting is fantastic, the animation is beautiful, the story is unique, I just loved this movie. In all honesty, this is probably going to be my personal pick for Best Animated Feature this year. I have a feeling it won't get it, but I can certainly hope. If you have Netflix, please check out this movie and support traditional animation that tells a story the likes of which we've really never seen before.
Letter Grade: A-
Okay, time for my biggest flaw with this movie, which involves spoiling what the subplot is Now, this scene does happen at the very beginning of the movie, so if you know what the main subplot is or have seen this movie already, then keep reading, but if you don't know anything about this movie, please stop reading now.
Ready? Okay. My main question is... how in the world can Naoufel's hand see?! They seemingly suggest that there's an eye there that is assisting the hand with his vision, but then the hand is able to perfectly navigate the world around it without any eyes. Can it sense the world around it? Can it see without any eyes? In all honesty, how is it even anthropomorphic to begin with? As much as the sequences with that hand were incredibly intense and fun to watch for the most part (and as important as that subplot is to the weirdness of this movie), I don't understand why it's able to move and have feelings to begin with. It has some of the most heartfelt scenes of the movie and I don't even really understand why it's alive to begin with. At that point, that's a major flaw with the entire story. In fact, maybe the fact that the entire subplot isn't developed enough should kick it down to a 3.5 for me, but I just can't bring myself to drop the film's rating that low. I loved it overall too much to bring it down anymore than I already am.