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As may be obvious, I’m a fan of foreign films. When my sister came to stay with me and we wanted to watch a movie, I realised that 11 out of 12 movies on my laptop were subtitled. Similarly the films reviewed on this blog are overwhelmingly foreign, often art house pictures. There is a limit to my love of arthouse however. It comes when you are completely bored for the duration of the film.

I realise this is the ‘reputation’ of arty, foreign flicks among many people anyway, but a good picture like Still Walking or Yi Yi I would hope would win over even the most doggedly entrenched critic. Flight of the Red Balloon, however, is likely to send that person in the other direction, forever away from anything foreign and vague. The plot is simply non-existent. Nothing happens. The balloon and puppet bits and bobbins are not particularly diverting, with only the domestic strife of the mother, son and Chinese au pair providing interest. Even that is frustrating, as nothing is resolved, nor even suggested. Sure there is an aesthetic sense there if you really look for it. But there is simply not enough interest to sustain you. Even the charm of Paris is strangely muted. I want two hours of my life back.

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