MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON
Dean Fleischer Camp, USA, 2021, DCP, 90′
Images Courtesy of Park Circus/Universal.
Marcel is a tiny talking shell, living in a human Airbnb house with his grandma Connie. When a filmmaker moves into their house, he starts making a documentary about this wee whimsical soul with one bulging eye and the titular shoes, who sleeps between two pieces of toast. The brainchild of director Dean Fleischer Camp and comedian, writer and actor Jenny Slate, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On became an unexpected internet sensation when it made its YouTube debut in 2010. Now, Marcel comes to the big screen in a live-action/stop-motion feature that’s just the cutest and most soul-warming film you’ve ever seen.
“It’s hard to believe that a googly-eyed shell and a silly voice can sustain an entire movie, and yet Jenny Slate’s adorable creation proves irresistible. /…/ By playing on the clichés of ‘reality’ and nonfiction filmmaking – including but not limited to low-saturation, Instagram-filtered lensing and a light, sinus-tickling score – they’re able to elicit many of the same reactions you’d expect from a live-action drama. Are we so easily manipulated that a pair of glorified Pet Rocks can have such an effect on us? Frankly, yes. Pack a hankie. But don’t miss this strange, special little film.”
– Peter Debruge, Variety
“There’s something unexpectedly tough about Marcel, a resilient soul who faces the ups and downs of life with pluck and playfulness. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On could be considered a kids movie or an art-house indie. But its proper audience might be anyone who’s ever felt sanded down by life, and could use a roll in Marcel’s rover.”
– Jake Coyle, The Seattle Times
“All this should in theory be intensely irritating, but somehow it’s really funny and heartwarming. Dean’s relationship with this imaginary tiny mollusc is absolutely convincing, and their odd-couple rapport is so strong it takes an effort of will to remember that Marcel doesn’t exist. He’s not big enough to hug … but I sort of felt like it.”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian