Belleville Rendez-vous is the first full-length animation film written and directed by Sylvain Chomet. Chomet tells us an original story in which an elderly French woman travels all the way to the U.S.A. alongside Bruno, her grandson’s faithful dog, in an attempt to save the former from the hands of the french mafia. The Triplettes of Belleville, meaning three long-ago famous singers from New York, will help them through this journey.
Having already watched The Illusionist (2010) as well as the delightful animated short film The Old Lady and the Pigeons (1998) I recognize a pattern in Chomet’s themes. The artists’ doubtful future and the issue of human exploitation are treated in a surreal, yet bittersweet and somehow ironic way. I enjoyed wholeheartedly the mockery of the American culture and the hidden intertextual references. The music is also worth mentioning, since it plays a huge role in this almost silent film.
A beautiful mostly hand-drawn animation, that offers everything adults seek in a film.
Available for online streaming here.