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Film Review: THE INVENTOR (2023): An Earnest Stop-Motion Animation Film About Leonardo da Vinci’s Quest to Find the Meaning of Life

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Leonardo Da Vinci The Inventor

The Inventor Review

The Inventor (2023) Film Review, a movie directed by Jim Capobianco and Pierre-Luc Granjon, written by Jim Capobianco and starring Stephen Fry, Daisy Ridley, Matt Berry, Marion Cotillard, Natalie Palamides, Jim Capobianco, Ben Stranahan, Jane Osborn, Gauthier Battoue, John Gilkey, Angelino Sandri and Max Baumgarten.

Jim Capobianco’s new stop-motion animated film, The Inventor, is about Leonardo da Vinci (voice of Stephen Fry) striving to find the meaning and significance of life. It’s an intriguing idea for a movie which is expertly animated and stars a cast of talented vocal artists. A true Renaissance man in every way, da Vinci had a lot of heart, according to details displayed in this film. There are many fantastic sequences in this animated picture even if the movie occasionally suffers from some stilted dialogue and too many abstract ideas which come across as too vague in execution.

This film is centered in France as da Vinci and Marguerite de Navarre (voice of Daisy Ridley) form a bond which makes them connect to the world around them in very distinct and mostly pleasurable ways. The early scenes, especially, focus on the bond between da Vinci and his assistant, Francesco Melzi (Angelino Sandri). Melzi is a character who is integrated throughout much of the rest of the movie as well. Also showcased in the early scenes is Pope Leo X (Matt Berry). The beginning sequences in this film set the stage for the far better ones that exist in the latter half of the movie where da Vinci and de Navarre’s relationship takes center stage and da Vinci becomes inspired in beautiful and creative ways.

With da Vinci’s small eyes and white beard, the essence of Leonardo da Vinci’s dreams (as well as his inner soul) are vividly captured in The Inventor. There is a scene late in the movie where da Vinci participates in a stage production showcasing the sun and starring some child performers. It is heartwarming and sincere and demonstrates da Vinci’s true humanity and his need to understand why we exist as human beings the way that we do.

Perhaps, the scene that is most effective in The Inventor is when da Vinci is seen interacting with the five senses. There is a big nose, a pair of eyes, a hand, a tongue and an ear. This sequence is highly imaginative and captures the essence of da Vinci’s quest to discover the purpose of humanity and how it manifests itself in everyday life. Another great scene has da Vinci stating that the ground that he stands on is shaky and this inspires some humorous conversation that has some comedy to it that lightens the film up.

Marion Cotillard serves as Louise de Savoy who seems to be a barrier to da Vinci’s quest to create but Marguerite still stands behind the terrifically enthusiastic artist that was da Vinci. Director Jim Capobianco himself voices the Cardinal of Aragon in the picture.

A hilarious motif in the film involves the presence of another artist, Michelangelo These scenes are sharp, quick and funny. There is also a great admiration for the work that was the Mona Lisa and this new film takes the opportunity to embrace the piece in a loving way.

The Inventor is a really ambitious film. Unfortunately, the stiff dialogue and abundance of historical characters detract from the quality of the film as a whole. But, it will be hard not to be emotionally moved by the animated set pieces that don’t rely so much on dialogue. Fry nevertheless voices da Vinci with integrity and Marguerite is perfectly voiced by Ridley. The passion Marguerite had comes through in her animated characterization as we recognize her need to thrive through her family as well as her interaction with da Vinci. The cute kids in the film also add some charm to the movie, making it more accessible to younger viewers who may be less familiar with the time period the movie portrays.

If The Inventor is less than perfect, the last scenes seal the deal to make the film recommended viewing. As da Vinci searches for meaning in the world through using every gift he has acquired through living his life, it’s hard not to be inspired by this movie. You may just want to attempt to create great art yourself after seeing the movie because it’s that inspirational in the way it can sneak up and ultimately move the viewer. It’s a truly moving picture that will certainly inspire interested viewers. At least for an hour and a half, anyway.

Rating: 7/10

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