Tsai Cheng-Tai
Lisa Schwarzbaum
April 04, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Flight of the Red Balloon

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
115 minutes
Limited Release Date
04/04/08
performer
Juliette Binoche, Simon Iteanu, Hippolyte Girardot
director
Hou Hsiao-Hsien
author
Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Francois Margolin
genre
Drama

We gave it an A-

The great Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien expands on the bright, drifty loveliness of Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 classic, The Red Balloon, in Flight of the Red Balloon, his lyrical French-language debut, floating notions about loneliness and urban beauty, frazzled adults and buffeted kids. Her hair a telling botch of bleach, Juliette Binoche is outstanding as a wildly untogether single mother who parks her son with a French-speaking Chinese nanny while she whirls and worries. Hou, meanwhile, observes the mess in with a kind, gentle eye in much the same way as the red balloon hovers, patient. A-

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