Troubled teens and a talking teddy bear populate the bizarre world of "Animals," Catalan helmer Marcal Fores' shimmering, ambitions debut. This stylishly wrought item shuttles between fantasy and realism a la "Donnie Darko" in its exploration of its protag's problematic emotional life, although too much of the lead character's delicate, serf-regarding preciousness spills over into the film itself. But while the last haft-hour has an anything-goes air, there's still enough verve and quality in the early reels--including some wonderfully dreamy atmospherics--to suggest that Fores is one to watch. Limited lest pickups are likely.
CREDITS: Directed by Marcal Fores. Screenplay, Fores, Enric Pardo, Aintza Serra Reviewed online, Madrid, Oct. 6, 2012. (In Sitges Film Festival--Official Fantastic Galas; San Sebastian Film Festival--New Directors.) Running time: 91 MIN.
With: Oriol Pla, Augustus Prew, Dimitri Leonidas, Roser Tapias, Javier Beltran, Martin Freeman, Katia Klein, Maria Rodriguez Soto, Alba Ribas.
(Catalan, English dialogue)
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