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Attila Marcel Review

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Paul (Gouix), a 33 year-old pianist of rare gifts, has lived with his two smothering aunts (Bernadette Lafont and Hélène Vincent). He hasn't said a word since his parents died when he was still a toddler, until a chance encounter with the mysterious Madam

★★★★★

Sad-eyed and profoundly gormless, Guillaume Gouix plays a mute pianist unravelling the mystery of his childhood abandonment, courtesy of a hallucinogenic brew sold by Anne Le Ny’s bohemian neighbour. Styled as a Proustian mushroom-trip, Sylvain Chomet’s live-action debut is a hugely inventive but dramatically inconsequential dose of magic-realism that stacks up its quirks like a teetering profiterole tower: it’s glossy and sweet but all rather hollow. There are tiny joys here, especially when it’s restaging Gouix’s surreal memories (singing frogs!), but the sticky, twee tone is seriously over-kooked. Imagine Amélie played on the ukulele.

In a 2014 kook-off, Sylvain Chomet's imaginative confection would take a narrow second place to Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo.

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