1 March 2003 | WriterDave
The Time it Was Yesterday at the Same Time
Ask me what time it is. Very very very strange and very entertaining bit of European cinema from Wacko Jaco Van Dormael, a former circus clown turned director. This film about fate, love, and childhood fantasies gone awry is very hard to describe. Imagine a kids film directed by Lars Von Trier, add a dash of "Amelie," a scent of "Donnie Darko," a sprinkle of Lynchian strangeness, and a good heaping of Terry Gilliam inspired wackiness, place in a blender, then travel back in time (as this movie came long before and probably inspired "Amelie" and "Donnie Darko") and voilà, you'll have "Toto." Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny (everybody seems to love those dancing tulips), sometimes weird, always captivating, this is a film for people who enjoy non-linear and creative story-telling. Also, that much talked about floating plastic bag stuff from "American Beauty" is taken straight from this film's unforgettable final scenes. Dormael seemed to have so much good stuff going on in this film, it's ashame he's only made one film since this, as any film buff who watches it will no doubt imagine a few more great films being pulled out of Dormael's magician's hat.