Film Review: 'Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy' and 'Belle'

BRENT NORTHUP Film Review Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

On Amazon Prime

Grade: B+

On Amazon Prime

The pandemic has shrunk the world, bringing more international movies into our home.

Distributors, stung by fewer moviegoers in theaters, are providing us earlier access to everything, including gems from overseas.

Thank you. We gratefully accept.

This week, I streamed two Japanese films – and both were wonderful.

“Belle” is a spellbinding animated family film about a grieving teen who finds her path to healing in the virtual universe of avatars.

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“Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy” is an existential meditation on women’s relationships – a gift for those who like their movies slow and deep, rather than fast and shallow.

Zosha Millman, a gifted Seattle critic, described “Belle” as: “A little bit Apple shareholder meeting; a little Social Network; a dash of Disney Princess, and a massive helping of technofuturist anime possibility.”

On the outskirts of this dazzling universe lives Suzu, a 17-year-old “mousy bumpkin” whose mother drowned trying to save another child.

Grieving Suzu escapes to her laptop hideaway, a virtual metaverse known as “U.”

She creates her own avatar, beautiful Belle who sings like an angel.

Suzu loved to sing, but

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