Flight of the Red Balloon

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Released 2007

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Movie Summary

Director:
Hsiao-hsien Hou
Released:
2007
Rating:
Not Available
Flight of the Red Balloon is the 2007 indie film from director Hou Hsiao Hsien. In the film, a small boy named Simon (Simon Iteanu) is struggling to come to grips with his mother's (Juliette Binoche) mortality as she is slowly consumed by illness and frailty. Her renter is not paying his rent and she is having trouble making a living. Unsure of what to do for her son, Suzanne, the mother, hires Song (Song Fang), a Taiwanese foreign exchange student who is studying film, to help care for him. The frailty and finitude of these family relations is captured metaphorically in the journey of a red balloon which passes quietly through the scenery of the movie. Its journey is directionless, and at any moment it is subject to the whims of the wind and phone wires, but the balloon floats on. In the same way, Simon's life floats from one tenuous situation to the next, but somehow he manages to keep going.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    In the end what elevates Mr. Hou's films to the sublime -- and this one comes close at times -- are not the stories but their telling.

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Carina Chocano

    The camera is so unobtrusive and the acting so naturalistic that it takes a while for a narrative to emerge. When it finally does, you're surprised to find you're deeply invested i...

  • 80

    Variety Justin Chang

    This eloquent study of loneliness and postmodern drift likely will be received with more admiration than rapture by the helmer's followers. But Juliette Binoche's turn as a harried...

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    Drama

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    Foreign Language