Movie Review: Up
Every time Pixar releases a new film, one wonders, "Is this the one that breaks the long string of phenomenal critical and commercial success?" I mean, surely a film studio can't continue to release inventive, profitable movies ad infinitum, right? It's just too implausible; even the very brilliant have slumps. Christ, the gold standard that is the Coen Brothers made the god-awful The Ladykillers, didn't they?! And yet...Pixar keeps churning out absolutely top-notch work and -- against all probability -- Up may just be their best film yet.
The film opens with a brief review of the long and very happy life shared by Carl and Ellie Fredricksen. With a lovely simplicity, the effortless harmony of their relationship is communicated wordlessly. Indeed, all is well until -- almost shockingly for an animated family film -- Ellie dies and leaves Carl alone, quickly throwing his world into chaos. Heartbroken and defeated -- and assailed by the outside world -- Carl decides to go on one final adventure. He's going to fly his house to its final resting place atop Paradise Falls in South America.