MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON
Starring: Jenny Slate, Dean Fleischer-Camp, and Isabella Rossellini
Director: Dean Fleischer-Camp
Director/co-writer Dean Fleischer-Camp and co-writer/lead Jenny Slate have created something honest, moving, and introspective with Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. It prudently demonstrates that no matter how small we may feel within the grand scheme, our community and courage allows us the capacity to persevere through change, grief, and growth. Slate breathes energetic life into the hilariously sassy and delightful Marcel, a character deserving of consideration amongst movie history’s upper echelon. His relationship with Dean (portraying himself) and Grandma Connie (the remarkable Isabella Rossellini) taught life lessons I’ll carry with me for quite some time.
A24's stop-motion venture Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is a delight. It’s got the feel good energy of an episode of Ted Lasso and charm coming from every corner. It’s also surprisingly funny…like, laugh-out-loud-in-the-theatre funny. A big reason the film works so well is Jenny Slate. Her portrayal of Marcel is innocent and childlike, yet oddly mature in the way he views daily life. It’s the kind of film that sets an example, and the world would be a better place if more people looked at it through the lens of Marcel. What a treat.
One of the year’s purest delights, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On finds A24 continuing their 2022 streak of pushing their most outlandish films to their absolute creative limit. Adapted from his own YouTube short films of the same name, Dean Fleischer-Camp’s narrative feature debut is a triumph of ingenuity, making great use of its premise to tell a story full of laughs and brimming with heart. Jenny Slate once more excels as the voice of the titular shell, and while the film may not blow one away, the emotional undercurrent of it makes for an unusually serene experience.
Creators Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate have cracked the code of making this early 2010s sensation into one of the sweetest, most endearing movies of the year. Simply put, A24 has struck gold with Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. This film will remind you to appreciate all the little things in life, to love big, and to inhale a bit of fresh air. Good things really do come in small packages because this gem is heartwarming and entertaining for all. I hope you all are ready for a talking shell with shoes on to make you cry.