Flight of the Red Balloon 

ted/Movie%20review%20thumbnails/flightoftheredballoon.jpg" width=150 align=right vspace=10 border=0>Reviewer's grade: B+

In "Flight of the Red Balloon," Simon (first-timer Simon Iteanu) and his scattered-but-well-meaning mother, Suzanne (Juliette Binoche, "Bee Season," "Dan in Real Life"), are trying to get along two years after Simon's father left their Parisian home for Montreal. It isn't clear why he ditched, but it is clear that his absence has left a big domestic vacuum for Simon and his puppeteer mum.

So Suzanne hires Song (Fang Song, also making her cinematic debut) to help manage Simon and keep things from falling apart. Most of the action takes place in the family's small apartment and the apartment downstairs, occupied by Marc (prolific French actor Hippolyte Girardot), a freeloading pal of the missing father.

As an homage to "The Red Balloon," an Academy Award-winning short film of 1956 by Frenchman Albert Lamorisse, director Hsiao-hsien Hou has expanded on the older film's elements of the little boy and the red balloon, building a more fully detailed story around them. multiplex. "Flight of the Red Balloon" screens exclusively Thursday through Saturday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. NR

"?Mike Robertson

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