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Movie review: ‘The Painting’

Posted 4:00pm on Thursday, Jul. 18, 2013

Unrated; 76 min.

In a world created by the human hand, there’s a hierarchy. The pretty “all-dones” are polished and privileged, destined to spend their days at a grand ball, gorgeously detailed and attired. The unfinished “halfies” and “sketches” are forever outcast — on the outside looking in.

This is the world of The Painting, an animated French-Belgian fantasy from 2011 only now making its way to the United States.

Painted figures come to life and set out on a quest to find their creator, “The Painter.” They want to know why he stopped, why he never finished some of them. They want him to set their world right.

In playfully designed and colored computer-generated animation, Picasso-like figures and minimalist sketches bicker over the class divide between “all-dones” and “halfies.” The all-dones have enslaved the “lower orders,” and banished them from their chateau.

It takes a halfie/all-done romance to set this quest in motion, and it will take a sketch to complete the team.

It’s a fanciful conceit and a well-animated parable about prejudice, standards of beauty and the shifting sands of the painters’ art.

In French with English subtitles

Exclusive: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

— Roger Moore, McClatchy Tribune News Service

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