Still playing catch-up with my movie reviews. Dan and I had the pleasure of seeing Coco in early December, during a pool vacation in Indian Wells, CA. We themed the night by starting off with fajitas and margaritas at our new favorite Mexican restaurant, Las Casuelas Quinta, which is so over-the-top with theming, it's kind of like eating at a Disney theme park.
PLOT- Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of being a musician, just like his idol, Ernesto De La Cruz ( Benjamin Bratt), an acclaimed mariachi star who is still popular years after his death. The problem is that music has been forbidden for generations in Miguel's household. This banishment of music started with Miguel's great-grandmother, Mama Coco (Ana Ofelia Murguia) who was abandoned to raise her daughter, Miguel's grandmother, by herself, when her musician husband never returned from a tour.
On Dia de Muertos, a day when families honor their dead ancestors, and the dead who are remembered have the opportunity to cross over into the land of the living, Miguel magically finds himself caught between the two worlds. He believes that Ernesto De La Cruz might be his great-grandfather and he searches for his idol in the afterlife, while trying to avoid his ancestors, who desperately want to send him back to the world of the living.
LIKE- Oh my goodness, Coco gave me the feels. It made me cry (sob is more accurate), but it also made my heart feel elated. It just might have surpassed Up as my favorite Pixar film. Coco is a feel-good movie about the importance of family. But even deeper than that, it deals with communication issues, how shame and fear can destroy relationships. It also has a main character with memory issues. It's heavy.
The characters are wonderful and the story world, especially the after-life, is vibrant and filled with creativity. Miguel meets Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal), a man who is not remembered by his family, and as a consequence, will fade away. Hector agrees to introduce Miguel to Ernesto De La Cruz, if Miguel promises to get a photograph of Hector to his living family. The idea of remembering and honoring your ancestors takes on a bigger meaning, when we learn that forgotten ancestors are no longer just dead, but they vanish from the after-life. I have to admit that the idea of this left me feeling somewhat haunted after seeing Coco. It sent me on an ancestry kick, where I learned all kinds of things about my relatives. I'll be blogging more about that in 2018. I'm guessing that Coco gave a lot of business to sites like Ancestry.com. You can't see Coco without wondering about your own family.
Although the story seems fairly straight forward, it's written with such care, that I didn't anticipate the twist at the end. It was a great surprise.
DISLIKE- Not a single thing. Coco is fabulous. I'm happy that we didn't have to sit through the Frozen short prior to the film. Apparently, they yanked it, not sure why. I didn't care for Frozen, so this wasn't a loss. Normally though, I really look forward to the Pixar shorts.
RECOMMEND- Yes! Coco is a must-see film for all ages. It's simply beautiful storytelling.