Ruben Brandt, Collector
A psychiatrist turns art thief.
Milorad Krstic’s animated crime thriller “might have been a small masterpiece,” said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. The title character is a psychiatrist who suffers nightmares about being attacked by the figures in 13 famous paintings and decides to enlist his kleptomaniac patients in stealing them. The movie’s inventive graphic style allows its Budapest-based creator to play with imagery from Botticelli, Picasso, Warhol, and more; the art-history Easter eggs “pop up almost too fast for the eye to assimilate.” But as the sexy thieves breeze from museum to museum with a detective on their trail, “the story never lives up to the ideas, and the ideas themselves are fuzzy.” The film remains “a gorgeous visual feast,” crowded with stylized car chases and shoot-outs, said William Bibbiani in TheWrap.com. “Everyone looks like a masterpiece; every building looks like a comic-book lair. And yet all that exhilaration seems to exist solely for its own sake.” As it should, said April Wolfe in AVClub.com. “What’s so grand about Ruben Brandt isn’t its story or the characters.” The movie is a work of densely animated art, open to interpretation. “Its meaning is whatever the viewer wishes.”
©2019 DreamWorks, Robert Viglasky/Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures, Sony Picture Classics ■