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Monday, February 23, 2009

My Uninformed Oscar-Snub Rant: WALL-E Edition

"Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeva." That could be my favorite line from any movie I've seen this year. Of course, it's from Pixar's amazing WALL-E, and it's the only line of dialog we hear from WALL-E himself: a mispronunciation of EVE, the robot who he falls in love with at first sight. Strange that it's so memorable, but then, that's what makes WALL-E so amazing. Like a great song, it has you from the start. WALL-E should have been nominated for Best Picture.

It seems to me that WALL-E was both innovative and traditional in ways that other films this year were not. It combines several genres -- romance, action, sci-fi -- under one roof. But it also features little to no dialog for the first 45 mesmorizing minutes. I don't recall any mainstream movie doing this, let alone a children's film, in recent memory. But not only does it dare to do something as crazy as contain no speech, it actually pulls it off. WALL-E's expressions and movements are all we need to understand him and how lonely he is. It's brilliant.

When things get more traditional and human characters enter the story, the film even goes anti-corporate and conveys an actual ballsy message. How many children's films, or even live action adult films, attempt this?

Anyway, I could write forever about this movie. But I would just encourage anyone who hasn't seen WALL-E to check it out. I can honestly say that I believed in the love between WALL-E and EVE more than most Hollywood romances I've seen. When an animated movie as smart as WALL-E comes along, it shouldn't be confined to the stupid Best Animated Film category; it should be included with the other great films of the year, live action or not.

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