Monday, December 08, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Me and My Moulton (2014) ****

NR, 14 min.
Director/Writer: Torill Kove
Narrator: Andrea Bræn Hovig

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences narrowed its list of possible nominees for Best Animated Short Film to 10 about a month ago. This category that is usually a key to winning the Oscar pool. The reason is that it is often difficult for the general public to see the nominees before the awards ceremony without going to a special art house screening of all the nominees.

When the Canadian made “Me and My Moulton” by Torill Kove was announced for the shortlist, the National Film Board of Canada decided to make it a little easier to see this potential contender (for a while). I was lucky enough to see this little gem when it was streaming for free on NFBC’s website.

I was unfamiliar with the animation of Norwegian-born Kove before seeing this movie. Kove won an Oscar for her 2006 animated short “The Danish Poet” and was nominated in 2000 for “My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts”. Her animation has a very distinct style that spoke to me immediately. Her lines are simplistic, even juvenile. It is perhaps only in animation where that term can be such a compliment. Her simple figures immediately convey the innocence and life period of the story’s central character.

“Me and My Moulton” tells the possibly autobiographical story of a girl, who with her older and younger sisters wish for a new bicycle from their odd parents. It’s a wonderful examination of how our environment shapes us as children and how we must accept the world we are from and our place within the larger world, which is not always what it appears to be to our inexperienced eyes as children. Is that enough for a fourteen minute movie? Most 90-minute movies cannot encompass so much.

I wish I could say enjoy the movie below, but unfortunately the free streaming period for the movie has ended. Hopefully, it will make the final nomination process and will be available for people to see in the collected Academy Shorts screenings that can be found in art houses throughout the country in the weeks preceding the Oscars.

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