Cannes Film Festival: Inside Out

Directed by Peter Docter

Starring Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan and Richard Kind

by Joanna Orland

Never has sadness been so joyful.

In Pixar’s latest film Inside Out, emotions rule the mind.  Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust live inside young Riley’s head.  Each emotion takes part in forming the young girl’s personality, and relatably so, this film is very much about the human experience.

11-year-old Riley’s life is sent into turmoil as her happy family relocates from Minnesota to San Francisco for her dad’s new job.  While Riley’s family life plays out on screen, it is really the characters in her head who are the stars of the film.  Joy (Amy Poehler) has always been the leader of the emotional crew, as Riley’s been a child to date, happiness has ruled.  But as Riley gets older and her life uprooted, Sadness (Phyllis Smith) is beginning to have her day.

Sadness begins to turn some of Riley’s joyful memories into less happy ones, ultimately altering the girl’s disposition.  Joy tries to fight the invasion of Sadness by keeping Riley happy at all times, but through a beautiful journey, both Joy and Sadness learn to work together, both realizing their necessity as meaningful aspects of human life.

While Poehler’s innocently optimistic voice brings Joy to life with a strong likability, Smith brings a gloomy sweetness to sadness, making her the most endearing character of the film.  It is no coincidence that Sadness is as charming as she is, as the entire story arc is an examination of the important role that sadness plays in our lives.

While strongly sentimental, Inside Out is not without its humour.  The mechanics of people’s emotions are brilliantly entertaining to watch, with each character getting their own version.  The inner workings of the mind and subconscious are also splendidly designed to be completely palatable even as the abstract concept that this is.  Riley’s subconscious and memories are truly enjoyable to explore, filled with colourful characters and notions.  This is no Herman’s Head, but something much more complex, introspective and heartening.

Joyfully bittersweet, Inside Out explores the wonder of being alive, and makes the audience truly feel as though they are.

2 Responses to “Cannes Film Festival: Inside Out”

  1. Miranda says:

    ¿Qué os semeja a vosotros?.

  2. It’s nearly impossible tto find well-informed people for this
    subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talkig
    about! Thanks

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