Directed by: Juan Solanas
Written By: Juan Solanas
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 1 hr 47 min
After watching this film I had a feeling the writer/director had completed work as a cinematographer. I was right. IMDB has 5 credits for Juan Solanas in that role, so it fits that this movies energy seemed entirely focused on the visuals. Even though Juan Solanas doesn’t take that credit for Upside Down, it clearly had an effect on how he processed the story.
There is a story of forbidden love here, and another subplot about the inequalities between the two worlds represented. But those are simply not developed to any credible degree. Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess are not given the right material to lift this film beyond the dazzling visual exercise it is. If they had this would have been something very special. As it is though, the gorgeous artwork alone wasn’t enough to pull me in and past how clearly impossible this set up is in any real physical universe.
This is an amazing feast for the eyes only. Keep any expectations for a story and character really low and you might find this a distracting way to spend two hours.
Best viewing format:
The biggest clearest digital screen you can find. The visuals are the main event with this film. It’s one of the best looking bad films I’ve ever seen.
Best element for me:
The cinematography of course. I think one cool way to enjoy this film would be to mute the sound and then find the most soothing ambient or classical music to play over it.
Jon’s Two Pence:
I agree. It’s visually superb and dazzling, but boy is it dumb. Wow is it flawed! I can’t even begin to pick at it – I’ve already wasted enough time on it! Proof it takes more than special effects – how did they get the money to make this? Did anyone read the script and see how ridiculous it was? A quirky pop video would have been better! I would have been free from frowning and saying “what!?” for 100 minutes less.