A terrific animated movie, that’s 81 minutes very well spent: here’s our review of I Lost My Body.

The BBFC’s plot summary for this film is “a French language animated drama in which a severed hand attempts to be reunited with the rest of its body”. It’s a very succinct and accurate plot summary at that, as for 81 minutes we watch an inanimate hand crawling, rolling, fighting, climbing and jumping to make its way back to its body.

No surprises on the surface, then, but that’s not what the film’s really about. It’s a deeply reflective and macabre examination of life – how we find our own meaning of it and how easily we can lose sense of it all. We meet the hand in a Parisian laboratory, making its way out of the refrigeration unit as it tries to find its body. The journey it undertakes regularly makes for terrifying watching as we take on its point of view, where we discover all kinds of hand-sized dangers and threats. Occasionally, it leads to rather sweet moments, where the hand observes love in amongst the peril.

These moments of heightened emotions, both good and bad, trigger memories, again both good and bad, of the life of pizza delivery boy Naoufel. Having never felt able to connect with anyone, meeting librarian Gabrielle seemed to turn things around for him. Or did it? The movie withholds information in such a way that it almost plays out as a macabre mystery comedy romance bodyhorror. If you’re able to accept that, the film is really rewarding. It’s a lyrical epic about love and longing, loss and lamenting – about wanting to belong in a world in which we can so easily feel cut off while also trying to find meaning in a life that really doesn’t make sense.

The animation beautifully renders the film’s creepy yet captivating tone – simultaneously gorgeous and profound, yet creepy and mildly disturbing. Considering the unique nature of the focus and style of the film, there’s a universality to its meaning and message, articulating a yearning for connection that we’ve likely all felt at one time or another.

A cathartic and lyrical film experience that lingers on long after watching.

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