To hear it from N.Y. Press critic Armond White, the Oscar-nominated Irish animated film The Secret of Kells conveys “the brilliance of pure inspiration” and is “one of the most beautiful works of animation ever…always aesthetically thrilling…the movie glows.”
And yet Marshall Fine has written the following: “I seldom walk out on movies, [but] I ankled after a half-hour of The Secret of Kells. I’d decided to attend the screening in the first place because I happen to be a sucker for animation and wanted to see the film that aced out , Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and a couple of others for one of the animated-feature Oscar nominations.
“I’m still wondering why the walkout happened.
“The Secret of Kells looked like a ’70s throwback, with limited animation, ersatz psychedelia and an earnest story about early Christians furthering the written tradition. They do it in the face of invading heathen Viking hordes and with the assistance of the spirits of nature and the creatures of the forest (or so I’m guessing, based on what I saw).
“What I saw was so lifeless and flat that I fled into the winter afternoon, invoking the life-is-too-short-for-this-shit clause in my contract. It’s something I really ought to do more often.”