Soul ★★★★★

Pete Docter has always been my second favorite of the Pixar directors, after Brad Bird, and he did not disappoint here.

In many of the studio’s films, the humor of the supporting characters undermines the profundity of the cinematic poetry that the filmmaker had been trying to create in establishing the world, the story, and the themes. This was, for me, what prevented Inside Out and Up, just to name two of Docter’s other films, from being truly great. 

This, in most scenes, made the wise choice of avoiding unnecessary comedy and focused on establishing a truly unique, yet superbly immediate, scenario that offered the film’s few characters and settings room to breathe. One particular montage towards the end of the film, featuring startlingly photorealistic views of New York City, was one of the most mature and cinematically-developed scenes in any of Pixar’s work.

This was a beautiful experience that ranks as one of Pixar’s most ambitious, yet also grounded, efforts, certainly their best offering since Ratatouille.

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