6 August 2004 | noisy_mouse
A different kind of Christmas story
At first glance, I wasn't sure if I would like this movie. The "miracles DO happen on Christmas" cliché is very boring and I typically don't enjoy movies that employ it, but this is a very different kind of Christmas movie.
We are given three homeless characters with complex personalities and backgrounds, who are as endearing as they are repellent. They take up the task of caring for a baby they found in the trash, and trying to bring it back to its mother. We learn the secrets that made these people homeless, we learn about the workings of human shame and desperation, and we learn that "miracles DO happen on Christmas." But in the least cheesy way possible!
The plot is very slow-moving, but still, it is interesting and very carefully laid out. This would be a very compelling live-action movie, but the use of animation adds so much visual interest, particularly the expressive (and sometimes hideous!!) face of Hana, the gangly transvestite. The choice of music is unique and very fitting: the song played during a walking-around-the-city montage is reminiscent of Clockwork Orange.
Interesting and careful story, complex and realistic story, tremendous visual appeal and excellent music. I guess this movie pretty much has it all!