Movie Review: INSIDE OUT

I’m going to start this review by saying if you haven’t seen Inside Out and have any reservations about seeing it, thinking it’s only for kids or girls or whatever, just throw those doubts out the window. This is the best movie I’ve seen so far this year.

The best way to experience it is without knowing too much about the plot so I’ll be very brief: The movie is a trip inside the head of an 11-year-old girl named Riley who’s trying to adapt to a major life change. Her emotions are Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger, who take turns at a control board to guide Riley through life.

The voice cast is terrific, with Amy Poehler and Phyllis Smith being standouts as the dominant and seemingly at-odds Joy and Sadness. You’d think a character named Sadness would be a downer, but Smith, best known as Phyllis in the American The Office, made me laugh as much as she moved me. And the little blue character representing this emotion is adorable, reminding us Sadness is not always scary and sometimes is exactly who we need to sit beside us.

As with Riley, Joy and Sadness were my primary emotions during Inside Out. I laughed often and hard, and cried just as hard. Pete Docter and his codirector/cowriter Ronaldo Del Carmen have created a confection that looks like a dream but is firmly rooted in reality. Its psychological insight on childhood, parenthood, marriage, and life in general is spot-on and depicted in beautifully subtle ways. Repeated viewings are encouraged to catch all the smart jokes and little nuggets of wisdom. When the Oscar nominations come around next year, Inside Out deserves a place among the best-picture nominees, not only relegated to the animated-feature category.

Docter also had a hand in writing and/or directing Up, Wall*E, and the Toy Story movies, the best in the Pixar canon. From now on, when I see his name on a movie, I won’t pass Go or collect $200 and will just head straight to the theater.

Nerd verdict: Moving and beautiful Inside Out

Image: Walt Disney Pictures

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    le0pard13
    June 22, 2015 at 6:10 am

    Oh, yeah!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    June 22, 2015 at 6:19 am

    Maybe I’ll try and talk my brother into letting us take A when we go to KS next month. Or a whole family treat. I’d really like to see this one, I’ve heard such wonderful things.

  • Reply
    Eirego
    June 22, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Saw it! Loved it!

    Terribly misleading trailer. Did not want to see it, but got dragged to the theatre with nieces and nephews. I thought I was going to sneak into something else as soon as the lights went down, but got hooked immediately. The only bad part about the experience was that other parents brought kids 5 and under and it’s not for that age.

    I’m going to see it again!

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    June 22, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Beautiful review, PCN, thank you ! I haven’t seen it yet, but a couple of mums and dads I know raved about it. Now, I’ll be sure to catch it. Sounds like one of the special ones !

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