After four years of filming and all kinds of delays, Spike Jonze has managed to put something on screen that resembles nothing like I've ever seen before. What he's made here is something wonderful ... just wonderful.
While plenty of books from childhood are remembered nostalgically and still others are simply forgotten, Where the Wild Things Are is, for many, beloved not only for what it was then, but for what it means now.
Jonze's sensibility is an authentic development of the music-video era's generational split -- which is also an aesthetic split. He doesn't exploit pop rebellion but has a counter-intuitive slant on what's funny, sad, universal.
It's standard practice to praise children's movies by saying they'll be enjoyed by parents and children alike, but in this case I suspect that some parents will sink blissfully into a reverie watching the characters throw clods of dirt, while their offspring tug on sleeves to ask when they can go outside and throw clods of dirt.
Renoir, a ravishing and sensuous imagining of one summer late in the life of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, makes the great painter's work matter again by putting an aging man's passions into an emotional and historical context.