Blu-ray review: 'A Cat in Paris'
It’s pretty much a given that cats are fickle, and that insouciant, c’est la vie nature of felines is at the heart of the gorgeously artful and oh so French animated feature “A Cat in Paris,” an Oscar-nominated film now out on Blu-ray DVD.
Among the most unique of last year’s animated Oscar nominees (along with the Cuban, jazz-infused “Chico & Rita”), this traditional, hand-drawn work – directed by Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol – feels like a beautifully rendered piece of artisan craftsmanship, a throwback to the old-school, pen-and-ink days before digital animation overwhelmed everything.
The story balances an odd mixture of very grown-up homage to French noir caper movies and a childlike storybook quality as it tells the tale of Dino, a Parisian cat who lives a double life.
By day, Dino curls up purring in the warm company of little Zoe, a spirited girl who lives with her widowed mother in a sun-dappled apartment. But when night falls, curious Dino ventures out the window and across Paris rooftops to the attic garret of Nico, an acrobatic cat burglar. Together Nico and Dino ply the dark night to compile a big horde of purloined art, jewelry and cash.
As it turns out, Zoe’s mother Jeanne is a Paris police detective and she leads a squad in the investigation of a rash of recent cat burglaries. On her down time, Jeanne is also nagged by nightmares concerning Costa, the arch criminal who murdered her policeman husband.
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