A little boy is followed around Paris by a strange red balloon. Meanwhile, his mother struggles to keep her puppet theatre and home life on track.
Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 classic short, The Red Balloon, acts as a starting point for director Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Musée d’Orsay-commissioned film.
Around a boy (Simon Iteanu), Paris and a balloon, Hou constructs a drama which divided critics at Cannes last summer. Juliette Binoche plays Simon’s harried single mother, a talented
but emotionally volatile puppeteer.
Nothing much happens in these two hours, but Hou’s exquisitely crafted scenes of domestic chaos and Paris’ unforgiving streets provide the perfect backdrop for his meditation on art’s ability to add both strain and beauty to people’s daily lives.
It's beautifully filmed but nothing really happens in the two-hour running time.