First off, this isn't a film for everyone - in fact it's quite a bizarre experience. However, if you haven't seen "L'Ours" (or "The Bear" for all us anglos), you probably should. This evening I watched it, and I don't think I will ever be quite the same. 

It's a French film, you may have guessed via the title, and there is little to no dialogue, or narration for that matter, throughout it's entire duration; an artistic decision I have respect and intrigue for, as my tool for story telling is clearly words - which could be my crux.  I watched the un-subtitled version, so even when there was sparse conversation between the two villainous poachers, I  had absolutely no clue what they were babbling on about, which, by the way, didn't seem to effect the story's comprehension at all.

The film, to boil it down in simplest terms, follows an orphaned bear cub through the B.C. wilderness as he searches for new guardians, escapes (but not always) the poachers and fights to survive (no, this is not animated).  What sounds like an amusing and educational movie is actually an emotional journey which will put a severe strain on your inner animal lover and/or human hater.

I am still not sure as to how they managed to capture this crowning achievement of not only nature photography but it's innate story as well. Being shot in '88 adds even more mystery to the mix.  The camera angles, lighting, scenarios, conveniences and coherence could furnish the same sort confused mesmerization that one would suffer from while watching "The Hills" on MTV. Is this real? How are they catching this? How much is staged? Is that a man in a bear suit?

In any case, "L'Ours", from the opening scene, locks you into an emotional roller-coaster that makes "Hotel Rwanda" feel like a tacky Van Wilder romp. If you get the chance, check it out. 

And remember; this is not a review, I merely watched a bizarre film that I was compelled to share with you, and, in no way intend to critique it. 

"The Greatest Thrill Is Not To Kill But To Let Live."

writing under the influence,