I Lost My Body (2019)
January 17, 2020 7:29 AM - Subscribe

A story of Naoufel, a young man who is in love with Gabrielle. In another part of town, a severed hand escapes from a dissection lab, determined to find its body again. I Lost My Body (J'ai Perdu Mon Corps) was nominated for Best Animated Picture at the 2020 Oscars.

I Lost My Body Is Both Genuinely Sweet and Thoroughly Twisted (Vox)

“What a dream,” says Clapin. “Who would have thought an adult animated film about a severed hand could be Oscar nominated?”

Oscar nominees: It’s David and Goliath in animation, but the little guy is well-armed (LA Times)
posted by ChuraChura (8 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
(It's streaming on Netflix)
posted by ChuraChura at 8:47 AM on January 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

I really loved the art and the wordless storytelling. It was a beautiful film.

I could not, however, deal with the insufferably stupid main character. His hand was great, but he was a blithering idiot with a serious case of Nice Guy Creeper and an untreated side infection of I Just Learned About Existentialism. I can get behind some angst, I can get behind some existential dread, and I can even support a certain amount of feeling betrayed when you realize your story isn't important and you are not the protagonist of anything. I will tolerate some painful social awkwardness and maladroit romancing. However, literally every problem that Naoufel has in the plot of the movie is his own fault, and he reacts by cranking up the Drama Meter until the dial snaps off and then babbling about fate.

Naoufel's hand deserves a better human, is my main takeaway. I would adopt it in a heartbeat. It's plucky and adorable. I wish that the entire movie had just been gorgeous shots of the city and hand parkour.
posted by Scattercat at 8:16 PM on January 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Couldn’t bear the bit where it becomes evident that in a few minutes the hand’s getting severed. Not that it’s poorly done, I’m just a wimp.
posted by Segundus at 7:31 AM on January 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

Gorgeous in every way other than the woman with less agency than a literal disembodied hand.
posted by adrianhon at 1:04 PM on January 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

At least she has the correct response to the revelations, which is to shout "What the fuck is wrong with you?" and storm out.
posted by Scattercat at 3:48 PM on January 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm a big fan of weird animated films, so I really wanted to like this, but I only got as far as about 10 minutes in where the hand cruelly kills a pigeon, and that was it for me. That just sucked all the joy out of it and I stopped watching.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:42 PM on January 19, 2020

The soundtrack, reflecting the importance of audio recording and music to Nauofel, was extremely dense with referents, including to Eno’s For All Mankind (roughly in any scene where the spacesuit avatar appears) and most frequently to Vangelis’ work on Blade Runner, which I would speculate is the origin of the pigeon and the hand motif, in the actions of Roy Batty. The English script also, and appropriately I think, borrows from the Clash song “Up in Heaven.” The film is set in 1994, so just over decade after the release of London Calling.

Where is Nauofel from, d’origine? The film seems to imply Tunisia or Morocco but he could be Algerian or even Libyan.

This film was so different, and in many ways more ambitious than the other nominated animated films. It’s an adapted script. The hand is the motivating element, I guess, in the original text, and I appreciated how having a voiceless protagonist kept the film focused on minimal dialog. I thought it was interesting trying to parse the differing contemporary expressions of protagonism and empowerment for Nauofel and Gabrielle, French-resident minority characters in a French film, with regard to my own expectations and social assumptions.

I kept wondering why this was even an animated film. The, er, animating conceit - the hand - is Gogol’s nose, sort of, except that it is a restricted viewpoint character that from a strict realist interpretation is almost certainly a dream artifact of Naoufel’s trauma. What did the film gain by animation? Silence? Strangeness - estrangement, s’il vous permettez? Maybe. I kept wondering about the economics. Is it really cheaper to make these kind of magic-realist, relatively small scale films via animation? Like, the VVitch I think benefits from in-lens cinematography, and maybe it would have cost less as an animated film - no costumes, no set, no fucking goat - but I think probably the film we got was better due to it being a shot work. I rather doubt the idea to make it as an animated film ever came up, but there’s a goat in this film too.

Finally, while I am not quite done with my non-rigorous awards-season ramble, I have to note that the Animated Feature nominees this year appear to me to be near-uniformly stronger than the live-action films, with the exceptions of The Lighthouse and Uncut Gems (which did not get a Big Four nod). Some of the live-action nominees I found to be competent; some to be ambitious. Nearly all the animated films exceeded my expectations on multiple axes.
posted by mwhybark at 10:26 PM on January 27, 2020

I loved it but shared everyone's dislike of the way the female character was used (by the protagonist and by the film). Really beautiful
posted by latkes at 8:39 PM on January 30, 2020

« Older Everything's Gonna Be Okay: Se...   |  Project Runway: There Is Only ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments