Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
The SWITCH team have all the reviews for the best films of Sydney Film Festival 2021 - click here to read now!x
review, The Girl Without Hands, The, Girl, Without, Hands, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Anaïs Demoustier, Jérémie Elkaïm, Philippe Laudenbach, Sacha Bourdo, Olivier Broche, Françoise Lebrun, Elina Löwensohn, Sébastien Laudenbach, Adventure, Animation, Anime, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Supernatural film rating

THE GIRL WITHOUT HANDS

★★★★

A DREAMILY ANIMATED SURVIVAL STORY

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
17th August 2018

The new French animated film, ‘The Girl Without Hands’, is based on a lesser-known Brothers Grimm fairy tale of the same name ('Das Mädchen ohne Hände'). On a similarly fantastical note, it was directed, written, edited, and animated by Sébastien Laudenbach in his feature debut; incredibly, Laudenbach animated the entire film on his own.

The Devil (voiced by the director’s father, Philippe Laudenbach), in the form of an old man, appears to a starving miller (Olivier Broche) and offers to make him rich if he sells him “what is behind your mill”. The miller returns home to find liquid gold flowing through his mill, but discovers that his daughter (Anaïs Demoustier) had been behind the mill, playing in an apple tree. After years of luxury, the Devil reappears to collect the young girl, but finds her too pure and clean to take. He orders the family to confine the young girl to the apple tree, away from soap and water, guarded by dogs which then maul her mother to death when she tries to help her. When the Devil returns (this time, in the form of a gleeful child) he finds that the young girl had kept her hands clean with her tears. He angrily orders the miller to cut off her hands … and so begins her hero’s journey, as she travels the countryside to escape her inhuman pursuer. But in spite of her resilience and the protection of a handsome prince’s estate, the Devil devises a plan of his own.

'THE GIRL WITHOUT HANDS' TRAILER

Laudenbach drew ‘The Girl Without Hands’ using only black and grey pencils, working on paper layers, one for each color. When he shot the drawings, one by one, he composited them on a computer, and turned black and grey layers into colors, which he then tinted.

The result is striking, and quite different from other "painterly" animated films like 'Loving Vincent' or 'In This Corner of the World'. Characters have been rendered in a few brushstrokes, in an extremely minimalist style, moving against watercolour-style backgrounds that wash and morph as the story dictates. The simplicity of the art style works in tandem with sound effects to convey physicality - for example, the line drawing of a character breaks apart on an tired exhalation, only to reform on a deep inhalation.

The simplicity of the art style works in tandem with sound effects to convey physicality - for example, the line drawing of a character breaks apart on an tired exhalation, only to reform on a deep inhalation.

With an ethereal score from Olivier Mellano that flows from to tranquil to menacing (slightly reminiscent of 'In A Heartbeat' by John Murphy), and the deep, dark, dream logic of the Grimm fable upon which it is based, ’The Girl Without Hands’ is unlike any adult animated film you have seen before.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 16m
CAST: Anaïs Demoustier
Jérémie Elkaïm
Philippe Laudenbach
Sacha Bourdo
Olivier Broche
Françoise Lebrun
Elina Löwensohn
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Sébastien Laudenbach
PRODUCERS: Philippe Martin
Jean-Christophe Soulageon
David Thion
SCORE: Olivier Mellano
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Melbourne International Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights. 
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Britannia III - A new and dark force
TRENDINGWIN BRITANNIA IIIA new and dark force
The Power of the Dog - Jane Campion howls back onto the big screen
TRENDINGWIN THE POWER OF THE DOGJane Campion howls back onto the big screen
Revisiting the 'Harry Potter' series - 20 years with the groundbreaking fantasy epic
TRENDINGREVISITING THE 'HARRY POTTER' SERIES20 years with the groundbreaking fantasy epic
Eternals - Packing too much into the MCU
TRENDINGETERNALSPacking too much into the MCU
The Power of the Dog - Jane Campion returns with a magnificent epic on the human heart
TRENDINGTHE POWER OF THE DOGJane Campion returns with a magnificent epic on the human heart
Love You Like That - Love is in the air - and it's crazy
TRENDINGLOVE YOU LIKE THATLove is in the air - and it's crazy
Sydney Film Festival 2021 - The reviews
TRENDINGSYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2021The reviews
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
The Eyes of Tammy Faye - Grab a Diet Coke - this biopic is truly blessed
TRENDINGTHE EYES OF TAMMY FAYEGrab a Diet Coke - this biopic is truly blessed
The Glass Room - Stunning yet soulless
TRENDINGTHE GLASS ROOMStunning yet soulless
Sorry, Wrong Number - An inventive slice of 1940s film noir
TRENDINGSORRY, WRONG NUMBERAn inventive slice of 1940s film noir
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
TRENDINGTHE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALEAn extremely silly zomedy
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Monty Python's Flying Circus: The Complete Series - Sketches at a revolution
TRENDINGMONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS: THE COMPLETE SERIESSketches at a revolution
The Swallows of Kabul - Unflinching and gorgeously animated
TRENDINGTHE SWALLOWS OF KABULUnflinching and gorgeously animated
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
The First Wives Club - Sisters are still doin' it for themselves 25 years later
TRENDINGTHE FIRST WIVES CLUBSisters are still doin' it for themselves 25 years later
PAW Patrol: The Movie - The pups' first theatrical mission is barking with joy
TRENDINGPAW PATROL: THE MOVIEThe pups' first theatrical mission is barking with joy
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!