Michel Gondry’s capacity for imagining wacky designs and adorable contraptions is so boundless he makes Santa’s elves look like dull-witted slackers. The French director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind Rewind is on some kind of perpetual adolescent overdrive, his brain inventing new bits of business as though nobody’d ever asked him to be normal. In his best films, this can be charming. In Mood Indigo, it results in a fun opening half-hour followed by an increasingly tiresome hour of hyperactivity. (This is a truncated 94-minute cut of the 131-minute European release.)
Which honor is more likely to make you the star of a movie: being voted People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” or Foreign Policy’s “Leading Global Intellectual”? For perhaps the only time in screen history, this documentary opts for the latter, choosing 2005’s top vote-getter, Noam Chomsky, as its subject.
A lot of this probably had to do with the perpetually whimsical filmmaker involved. French director Michel Gondry is also a designer, animator, inventor, and all-purpose enthusiast; he seems to be curious about just about anything that exists in the world.