Review: Up

I saw this film at a free preview at the Cineworld Haymarket in London, which is one of the most beautiful cinemas I have ever seen. Screen 1 looks more like a theatre, with stalls and circle and little pews. I don’t think there is a bad seat in the place.

We got a short speech from the editor of Total Film mag, welcoming us to this Red Carpet Preview, then we were treated to three trailers in 3D – Toy Story 3, Ice Age 3 and G-Force – all of which I wouldn’t mind seeing! There was also a survey sheet lying on each seat possibly winning you a year’s Cineworld pass for filling it in.

The film starts with a little boy named Carl watching a movie about an explorer in the cinema, then skipping home with a balloon in his hand, when he meets a young girl in a dilapidated house. She tells him she wants to be an explorer too and when he falls and hurts his foot, she visits him at home to show him what she calls “My Adventure Book”. Her dream is to go to South America and visit Paradise Falls.

We see those two growing up, falling in love, getting married and spending their lives together, always saving up for Paradise Falls and always having to dip into their savings for more pressing matters, like roof or car repairs or medical bills. Then his wife dies, leaving Carl heartbroken in the house they renovated so lovingly together, which is now surrounded by highrising blocks. When Carl, who now looks a lot like grumpy old Walther Matthau, loses his rag with one of the builders, he is summoned to court where it is decided that he has to live in an old people’s home from now on. He looks defeated but suddenly we see him look at a photo of his wife and cross his heart and we know he has a plan!

So far the film has been impressively realistic about life’s missed chances and growing old – but now the fun starts as Carl decides to visit Paradise Falls after all, and he decides to take his house with him! He hasn’t banked on a little stowaway boy scout though, who only needs one more badge “for assisting the elderly” to go up to the next level. And going up is what he is going to do – just not quite the way he thought!

This film is an utter delight. We absolutely loved it. Pixar at its best. I laughed and I cried. It’s the perfect mixture of humour tinged with some sadness – some very moving scenes give the characters depth and make it more than just another funny animated movie. When the millions of coloured helium balloons pulled the house up into the sky, I nearly cheered, it was the most beautiful sight. The film isn’t short of original ideas – the pensioner fight is fab, as are the speaking dogs and the multi-coloured bird. The 3D effect also isn’t as overused as it was in Coraline and I had no trouble with my eyes this time.

“Thanks for the adventure. Now go and have another one”. I am getting all choked up again!

9.5/10 Go see it but don’t think you need kids as an excuse. This film is wasted on the little ones! I want to see this again but it looks like I have to wait until October before it hits the cinemas!

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