Review by Camden Ferrell
Premiering as a part of the International Critics’ Week section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, I Lost My Body is a French animated film that won the Nespresso Grand Prize. Directed by Jérémy Clapin, this film has enough whimsy to propel its wandering narrative even if it falls flat at times.
This film follows Naoufel, a pizza delivery man who looks for love and deeper connection in his life. In another storyline, we follow a severed hand as it travels across town to find its owner. These two storylines are very original and are ripe for quirky exploration and storytelling.
The writing of this movie may be its weakest asset. It is contemplative at times, but it isn’t as deep as it aims to be. It also likes to revel in the mundane interactions of its characters, and it’s rather charming. However, it wears off a little throughout. Despite this, it’s still an adequate foundation to explore our characters and the movie’s themes.
One of the film’s strong points is its dazzling animation. It’s 2-D animation is very immersive and visually pleasing. It manages to look so primitive while also being mysteriously intricate. It gives the film its signature style and uses it to craft its unique and mysterious tale.
While it’s a visual achievement more than anything, the film still succeeds with its themes. It tells coinciding stories of longing in concise and palatable ways. These emotions and ideas are nothing new, but it works surprisingly well in the context of the film. Despite its odd premise, this is a resonant and familiar thematic experience.
The film also excels in its attention to detail. While cinema is a fundamentally visual and auditory experience, this film makes a noble attempt at making its story tangible as well. It focuses a lot on the sensation of touch, and it ties that in with its themes very well.
The film runs at a little over 80 minutes, and it mostly does a great job of utilizing every minute. However, there are moments in the film that run on a little too long. This can sometimes disrupt the pacing of the story, but this is a forgivable problem.
I Lost My Body is an enjoyable and enigmatic viewing experience. It boasts great animation and rich themes, and it’s a short and contemplative film that is easy to consume. Its quirks may turn off a select few, but it’s a generally unobjectionable experience.
I Lost My Body is now streaming on Netflix.