Women should see the new Pixar film, Brave, especially women with problematic relationships with their mothers, or, as my friends say, women. Girls should see it, too. That’s my opinion. (And it’s fun for men, too. At least my husband liked it.)
Others disagree. It’s gotten fairly good reviews, but lots of them are also patronizing or damning with faint praise. A New Yorker blurb writer, Bruce Diones, for example, calls the film “beautifully animated,” but then says it “holds together enough to thrill intermittently” and it’s “filled with standard into-the-woods adventures.” Maybe willo-the-wisps (I never knew what those were before) and witches who hawk their wood-carvings from their forest cottage are standard. I guess I just haven’t seen enough movies.
Pixar has made some of the best films of the last fifteen years. Not animated films, not children’s films, just films. All three Toy Story’s, Finding Nemo, WALL-E, and Up garnered great reviews and lots of money. These are among my favorite recent movies, with original stories, surprising wit, and great heart.
Now, employing a woman as one of the film’s directors and writers, it’s combined all these virtues with medieval Scottish (but archetypal) themes about mothers and daughters. If you’ve got some issues to work out with your mom, hie thee to the theater.
Then tell me what you think.