The Secret World of Arrietty (2012)

This adaptation of Mary Norton’s classic book, The Borrowers, is colorful, imaginative, and the antithesis of what has become the modern-day family film. It’s less antic with its pacing, it has a more somber mood, and the ending is essentially anticlimactic. While commendable on one hand, The Secret World of Arrietty is also a minor work under the tutelage of the brilliant Hayao Miyazaki. Like other Miyazaki works, the film immerses you into an imaginative world where all the details fit. The story itself within that world is a bit low-key. Arrietty is a 13-year-old tiny person, a Borrower, living with her mother and father inside a human being’s home (they refer to people phonetically as “beans”). Her friendship with one of those “beans,” a boy named Shawn, is pleasant and gradual, as she feels she cannot trust the enormous human. I kept waiting for something larger and more significant to happen, but it didn’t. The story feels too slight to justify being the introduction, and likely final, chapter of these characters. The world of Arrietty is beautiful to watch but after a while you’re just watching pretty pictures.

Nate’s Grade: B

About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on February 26, 2012, in 2012 Movies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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