Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2022)
The feature-length movie based upon the short stop-motion films about a mollusk in sneakers, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On might just be the most precious movie of the year. It’s set like a faux documentary where a lonely filmmaker discovers a magical inhabitant in his Air B&B, a very soft-spoken little guy with a heart much bigger than his actual size. Marcel (voiced by co-creator Jenny Slate) is looking for his lost family who were unknowingly absconded when the original couple who lived in the house broke up and gathered their things quickly before storming off. Dean (Dean Flesicher-Camp, also the movie’s director) records Marcel and his innocent little observations on life and the bigger world and posts the videos online, and Marcel becomes Internet famous, for good and bad. The plot of the movie is less important than its overall gentle nature. There’s not a lot that happens in the movie, but you dont mind because it’s really an 80-minute sit-down with Marcel. The entire movie is just so sweetly innocent that it’s hard to resist. It also has some bigger things to say about our place in the world as well as mortality. Marcel has a loving yet ailing grandmother shell (voiced by Isabella Rossellini) who is beginning to lose her lucidity, and it will hit home for anyone who has watching a loved one suffer from mental decline. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is a perfect little antidote for our modern cynical lives. It’s overwhelmingly adorable and wholesome and winsome and just plain cute.
Nate’s Grade: B