Movie Review: Oscar winner Soul
Each January, the entertainment community and film fans around the world turn their attention to the Academy Awards. Interest and anticipation builds to a fevered pitch leading up to the Oscar telecast, when hundreds of millions of movie lovers tune in to watch the glamorous ceremony and learn who will receive the highest honors in filmmaking. Let’s review this year’s winner in animated film- Soul
Where do people get their personalities? Do parents play a part, or are such things somehow determined before birth? For centuries, doctors of psychology, doctors of philosophy and doctors of theology have contributed their thoughts on the subject, but the latest breakthrough comes from another kind of doctor entirely: Pete Docter, the big-idea Pixar brain behind outside-the-box toons “Inside Out” and “Up,” who takes a look deep inside and comes up with another intuitive, easy-to-embrace metaphor for — dare I say it — the meaning of life.
The result is “Soul,” a whimsical, musical and boldly metaphysical dramedy about what makes each and everybody tick, featuring a cast of characters who don’t have bodies at all. “Soul” opens with the death of its down-on-his-luck hero, middle school band teacher Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), a frustrated pianist who aces a jazz band audition, then steps out into the street, where he narrowly avoids being smushed by construction workers and crushed by an oncoming car, only to fall through a manhole to his untimely end. When he travels to another realm to help someone find their passion, he soon discovers what it means to have soul.
This is not at all where one expects a kids movie to begin. Not even “Bambi” went so far as to kill its main character before the opening credits. But then, “Soul” plays hardly anything by the rules.
What follows is an absolute delight. It will make any viewer cherish the life they have and want to live it more fully, every single day, ideally with lots of laughs along the way.