Memoir of a Snail review: charming poignant tale of troubled twins

Memoir of a Snail review: charming poignant tale of troubled twins

Adam Elliott, the acclaimed Australian stop-motion filmmaker, has once again captured hearts with his latest feature, “Memoir of a Snail.” This poignant and charming tale, voiced by the talented Sarah Snook and Kodi Smit-McPhee, delves into the lives of troubled twins, Grace and Gilbert, separated by fate and circumstance.

Elliott, known for his Oscar-winning short “Harvie Krumpet,” brings his unique blend of humor and pathos to this new project. The film premiered at the Annecy animation film festival and is set to open the Melbourne International Film Festival in August, with a commercial release in Australia scheduled for October 17.

“Memoir of a Snail” introduces us to Grace Pudel, a middle-aged woman living in isolation, surrounded by chaos and snail memorabilia. Her life, however, wasn’t always this way. The film takes us back to her troubled childhood, where she shared a close bond with her twin brother, Gilbert. Gilbert, a pyromaniac with dreams of becoming a fire-breathing street entertainer in Paris, was inspired by their father, a stop-motion animator.

Tragedy strikes when their parents die, and the state system cruelly separates the twins, placing them on opposite sides of Australia. Gilbert ends up with a cultish religious family running a fruit business, while Grace is taken in by a self-help obsessed couple in Canberra. Her only solace comes from an eccentric old lady named Pinky, voiced by Jacki Weaver, who becomes a central figure in Grace’s life.

Elliott’s film is imbued with a sense of ingenuousness and innocence, making it approachable for family audiences while hiding deeper, more intense emotions. The narrative, filled with personal touches, hints at real adult pain and anger, making the story even more poignant. The surprising twist at the end only adds to the film’s emotional impact.

Elliott’s ability to create lovable and relatable characters shines through in “Memoir of a Snail.” Despite their imperfections and hardships, the characters’ resilience and eventual triumph make them endearing. Grace’s journey, filled with loss, rejection, and solitude, is balanced by moments of warmth and humor.

The film’s stop-motion animation style allows Elliott to maintain creative control and push the boundaries of the art form. The characters, with their asymmetrical and deformed appearances, break the fourth wall and look straight at the audience, creating a unique connection. Elliott’s physiological tremor, which results in wobbly lines in his drawings, adds to the characters’ charm and authenticity.

“Memoir of a Snail” is narrated by a star-studded cast, including Sarah Snook, Jacki Weaver, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Eric Bana. Elliott’s choice of Academy Award-winning actors is driven by their talent and authenticity, rather than their global recognition. He aims to create genuine and relatable characters, and the actors’ performances contribute significantly to this goal.

Elliott’s dedication to his craft and his refusal to compromise on his vision are evident in “Memoir of a Snail.” Despite offers from bigger studios, he continues to write and direct his own films, staying true to his niche. His next project promises to be even more ambitious, pushing the boundaries of stop-motion animation further.

“Memoir of a Snail” is a testament to Elliott’s storytelling prowess and his ability to create deeply moving and relatable characters. The film’s blend of humor, pathos, and personal touches makes it a thoroughly enjoyable watch. As Grace navigates her way through life’s challenges, the audience is taken on an emotional journey that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

In “Memoir of a Snail,” Elliott has crafted a tale that resonates with audiences, drawing them into the lives of his characters and making them root for their success. The film’s charm and poignancy make it a standout in the world of animation, showcasing Elliott’s talent and dedication to his craft.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top