Haunted by the death of his father and tormented by violent hallucinations involving some of the world’s greatest paintings, psychiatrist Ruben Brandt (voiced by Iván Kamarás) finds himself in need of assistance. Luckily, his roster of criminal patients are happy to oblige: from Mimi (Gabriella Hámori), a lithe kleptomaniac; to Bye-Bye Joe (Matt Devere), a stocky celebrity bodyguard; to Fernando (Christian Niels Buckholdt), a not-so-discreet computer whiz. Soon the colourful coterie begins to burglarize famous museums across the globe, stealing 13 of the world’s most famous paintings in the process.
Inspired and inventive, Milorad Krstić’s animated standout is chock-full of sly art-history references and delirious twists on modern psychological ideas. Fuelled by a propulsive orchestral score, the film gracefully alternates between the atmosphere of an early Louis Feuillade crime serial and the breathless, high-octane action of a Mission: Impossible entry. (The lengthy opening chase through the streets and canals of Paris will set pulses pounding from the get-go.) With its heady mix 2D and 3D animation styles, Krstić’s ravishingly drawn genre romp will thrill to no end.
“What’s so grand about Ruben Brandt isn’t its story or the characters, which are both abstractions. It’s the animation—the detailed artwork, so dense that it warrants repeat viewings.” (April Wolfe, The A.V. Club)
“An acrobatic, larkish globetrotting adventure about paintings and psychotherapy that defies easy categorization save inclusion on any adult animation fan’s must-see list, its slinky, colorful pleasures and wittily referential joie de vivre are like a lifeline in a season when the art house is typically beholden to severe, award-seeking bids to depress you.” (Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times)
“This is a film which fizzes with originality, one which works both as a pacey thriller and a playfully surreal intellectual exercise.” (Wendy Ide, Screen International)