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Review: Light as a feather, sweet as a cream puff

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On charms audiences

Pamela Biery
Special to Prospector

With the summer heat upon us and plenty of less than ideal news each day, it’s a good moment to remember what films started out as: entertainment. The 90-minute mockumentary, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, does not profess to be profound, deep, or all engrossing, but it does promise to entertain.

This sweet commentary on many of life’s simple incidents takes one to a world that is both familiar and fantastical. A talking shell with shoes on has an adventure, and this adventure touches on the way we interact with community, family and the simple manner in which we relate. Done with stop action animation and set in Los Angeles, Marcel is confronted with things we know about: life, loss, aging, death and reunion.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On began as a mockumentary video directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp, who co-wrote the script with Jenny Slate. The 2010 short film premiered at AFI FEST 2010, winning Best Animated Short. Marcel was also an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.The film tells the story of Marcel (voiced by Slate), an anthropomorphic seashell outfitted with a single googly eye and a pair of miniature shoes. From this came a popular book. The 90-minute film now showing at the Onyx Theatre is really the third iteration of this tender and creative work, which is of course, not lacking in discreet comedy bits that only adult audiences will pick up on, without offending children. This film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on Sept. 3, 2021.



The primary voices of Jenny Slate and Isabella Rossellini take us on a journey of loss, redemption and recovery in the creation of multiple relationships. Dean Fleischer-Camp and Lesley Stahl, as well as Dean’s dog, get supporting roles. Slate may be familiar to audiences from her role on the television series Parks and Recreation, Saturday Night Live (2010) or the film, Obvious Child, which garnered many awards. Editor and director Dean Fleischer-Camp was previously married to Slate and also directed the 2016 film Fraud. An act of creative innovation, much of the original short YouTube stop-action was filmed in one bedroom.

This is a film that lets audiences leave feeling lighter and more than a bit charmed. Rated PG, it is definitely a good feeling everyone.



Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is rated 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and is currently playing at the Onyx Theatre, 107 Argall Way, Nevada City for audiences 21+. This film is held over for a second all ages screening at the Onyx Downtown at the Nevada Theatre on August 7 at 7 p.m. Learn more and buy tickets at https://theonyxtheatre.com/

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is held over for a second all ages screening at the Onyx Downtown at the Nevada Theatre on August 7 at 7 p.m.
Provided photo

 


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