Continuing my countdown of every Pixar movie…
#4. Up (2009)
(up five spots from previous ranking)
My revisit of Up was one of the most rewarding surprises of this exercise. I hadn’t seen the film since its 2009 release, and my memory was that the film didn’t live up to its famously powerful opening.
And yes, that opening sequence is astounding. After Carl and Ellie meet as children, a wordless montage traces their entire lives together, through good times and bad, until death ultimately does them part. One of the top five Pixar sequences ever, no question, and possibly number one.
This movie sat on the shelf for awhile before getting a quiet release in March of 2008, and it’s easy to see why it had trouble finding an audience. Despite a stellar cast featuring Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Rachel McAdams, it is a bland attempt at a Hitchcockian thriller that never registers a pulse.
We’re in the middle of a weird trend of suburban melodrama set a couple of generations back. Revolutionary Road depicts a 1950s couple unhappy in their marriage; television’s Mad Men covers similar territory across the late 50s and early 60s; Married Life explores infidelity and secrecy among a group of friends in the 1940s.