Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

#Review: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

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Out this week in cinemas is the charming Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. Starring Jenny Slate as the titular shell, this faux documentary follows Marcel and his nana Connie (Isabella Rosellini) as they talk to Dean about their lives, in particular how Marcel misses his community since they were separated two years ago.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is an intimate story about two people just talking. It’s about a friendship being born when two people meet at the right time in their lives. Marcel doesn’t have anyone around him of a similar age range, he’s having to take care of himself and his nana, while Dean is coming off a divorce. As the film progresses the two bond over their traumas, Marcel helping coax Dean out of his shell (I regret nothing).

The space in my heart gets bigger and bigger each day

There is something ineffable about how charming Marcel is. He brings out the best in his nana as well as Dean. His story of trying to find his community is also one that captures the hearts of millions. As each vignette of him is uploaded to YouTube more and more people learn about Marcel and subsequently fall in love with him and his adorable nature.

What makes this film work so well is its stunning animation style. The stop-motion animation produced in this film is absolutely stunning. Its integration with the real-world setting is flawless and what the team achieve in this film is one of the best parts of the film. The main reason the animation is so compelling is how Marcel utilises various tools to get things done during the day. From travelling around the house in a high-speed tennis ball to his favourite tool, the electric whisker, nothing can stop Marcel. He’s a hell of a guy.

As I said before, the best element of the film is the interactions with the characters. It is essentially a three-person play for the majority of the film. A particularly moving part of the film is Marcel and Connie’s relationship. Marcel is trying to figure out what he wants while worrying about the safety of his nana. Slate and Rossellini have a beautiful and heartbreaking relationship. You can sense a lot of history behind their relationship and it’s compelling to see how they grow throughout this film.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is an effortlessly charming film, with a unique leading character. It’s one of those films for everyone. Check it out, when you get the chance.

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