Christmas Movies II

film 9 of 25

Une Vieille Boîte / An Old Box

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 6, 2015

There are so many cool animation styles that are beyond me. Uncool ones are also beyond me.

This film is another take on the little match girl, now in a modern urban setting, and with a dispensable old guy replacing the Dickensian child. Andersen posits plenty/sufficiency as natural, so that poverty registers as an especial affront. Here things are pretty bleak generally. Where Andersen, appropriate to his child protagonist, sticks to what she has seen and what is nearby, Driessen extends the match girl’s visions spatially and temporally. His main character, appropriate to his greater experience, envisions sufficiency that is long ago and far away. As a result the message isn’t just or even widows-and-fatherless (James, 1:27) political. It is Christian. The final stop in Bethlehem is stunningly indirect. (Cf. Demy’s The Young Girls of Rochefort, in which the final, agonizingly delayed union does take place, but it is withheld from us). After that the guy doesn’t freeze to death. He’s just discarded, as is appropriate to the coldly sparse setting. In contrast, then, what a resurrection!