‘Belle & Sebastian, a Adventure Continues': Film Review

Christian Duguay (‘Jappeloup’) leads a follow-up to a 2012 French box-office hit.

Had it been done 30 or 40 years ago, if not earlier, Belle Sebastian, a Adventure Continues (Belle et Sebastien: l’aventure continue) might have been a kind of kids crack that everybody in France would have remembered seeing.

But in 2015, this workable if mostly forgettable boy-and-his-dog story feels as old-fashioned as berets, suspenders and nauseating paste — all of that can be found in contentment in this follow-up to a 2012 box-office hit. Like a predecessor, that raked in tighten to 3 million admissions, Gaumont’s pricey supplement (budgeted during €14 million) should play good with internal tykes, while exporting simply to territories via Western Europe. 

To his credit, executive Christian Duguay (Jappeloup) avoids some of a some-more annoying tract points from a initial film, whose story featured a large and feathery Belle battling a Nazis in a French Alps. This time a movement is set dual years later, with Belle and his tweenage companion, Sebastian (Felix Bossuet), holding on such foes as a craft crash, a timberland glow and an huge grizzly bear — which, thankfully, a dog favourite scares divided before it can get all Revenant on a rest of a cast.

Adapted from a renouned 1960s TV series, a book (by returning screenwriters Juliette Sales and Fabrien Suarez) picks adult after a finish of WWII, where we find Sebastian adult to his common hijinks as Belle sticks steadily by his side. Hoping to finally reconnect with his surrogate, freedom-fighting mom, Angelina (Margaux Chatelier), who’s on her approach behind from a battlefield, Sebastian has his hopes unexpected dashed when Angelina’s craft goes down in a timberland on a Franco-Italian border.

Convinced that she’s still alive, a immature boy, his frontiersman grandfather (Tcheky Karyo) and their favorite Pyrenean Mountain Dog set out to find her, enlisting a internal commander (Thierry Neuvic), who also happens to be Sebastian’s long-lost father. When their craft is forced to make an puncture landing, a survivors contingency trek opposite a imperishable landscape and face large obstacles before a family can hopefully (but surely) be reunited.

With broadly sketched characters and a account that feels closer to an afterschool special (especially all a father-son fluff), this second Belle Sebastian offers a kind of unassuming children’s party we don’t indispensably see being done anymore, during slightest in a grown world. Yet while a film deserves some points for a confidant clarity of naivete — as good as for citing one of a biggest kids films ever: Charles Laughton’s Night of a Hunter — it stays so buried in a past that it has small to do with a universe we’re vital in now.

Other new French cinema — including a dual War of a Buttons from 2011 and a 2004 smash, The Chorus — have trafficked in a identical kind of aged propagandize vibe, depicting an idyllic Gallic panorama where all a small boys and girls are dressed in flattering postwar garb, with smiles that go on selected soup cans.

This one is positively partial of a pack, even if a story treads into darker domain during a opening reels. But once Belle takes over to save a day, and a young measure by Armand Amar (24 days) hits all a approaching notes, there’s not most left to deliver over a cunning animal-wrangling and a eye-popping locations. As prolonged as French audiences keep lapping adult this kind of nostalgia, a journey will continue.

Production companies: Radar Films, Epithete Films, Gaumont, M6 Films, Rhone-Alpes Cinema
Cast: Felix Bossuet, Tcheky Karyo, Thierry Neuvic, Margaux Chatelier, Thylane Blondeau
Director: Christian Duguay
Screenwriters: Juliette Sales, Fabien Suarez, formed on a TV array created and destined by Cecile Aubry
Producers: Clement Miserez, Matthieu Warter, Frederic Brillion, Gilles Legrand, Sidonie Dumas
Director of photography: Christophe Graillot
Production designer: Sebastien Birchler
Costume designer: Adelaide Gosselin
Editor: Olivier Gajan
Composer: Armand Amar
Sales agent: Gaumont International

In French, Italian
98 minutes