Marcel The Shell With Shoes On (2021)
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
To think, I nearly didn't bother watching this, one of the highlights of my cinematic year with only a few months to go.
You'll see words like 'poignant' and 'delightful' bandied around alot in relation to the faux documentary of an interview with a sentient and inventive mollusc called Marcel. Yes, it is as weird as it sounds, and as it needs to be, because this is not a perspective you would ever really imagine. I was reminded of the game 'Grounded', where the player is reduced to the size of a tiny insect and left to fend for themselves in their own back garden. It makes things you have never even looked at before, that are always there, doing their thing, or not doing anything, become completely relevant and important, purely from the perspective that the observer now finds themselves. This is not just a physical wonder, but it prompts questions you never even thought to ask about the world around you.
It helps that Marcel is unbelievably cute. I had to go and check the name of the child that had been cast as Marcel, only to find that it wasn't a child at all, but a real, fully grown-up actual woman, co-creator Jenny Slate. She sounds like she's been at the helium then, if you ask me, but its no bad thing and really doesn't take away any of the charm. The whole thing is so helplessly awe-massaging, so life-affirming, that you can't help but admire the idea, which seems effortless, but I'm quite, quite sure is not. Helplessly loveable and highly recommended.