Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Painting

78 minutes has rarely felt so long as in the moralistic multicultural animated import "The Painting," in which the characters of an unfinished painting come to life. They comprise three castes: the Alldunns, those completely filled in by the painter; the second-class Halfies, which includes those with even a few missing brushstrokes; and the bottom-of-the-barrel Sketchies, mere line drawings whom the supremacist Alldunns believe the painter should have erased. For such an artistically themed picture, "The Painting" isn't all that pretty to look at. We never care about the characters or the generic cross-caste love story at its heart. And what exactly is the lesson here? Racial supremacy is bad? Isn't that like being against world hunger? We're way past the days when a film could score points for setting up such an easy straw man and knocking it down. This highfalutin French piece of self-styled couture comes off like a contestant in a beauty-pageant spoof.

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