The Triplets of Belleville

Director: Sylvain Chomet
Year Released: 2003
Rating: 1.5

Those that thought von Trier's Dogville was anti-American should take a closer look at this flippant Academy-Award nominee. A French bicyclist gets captured by the American Mafia and taken to New Yorkesque Belleville (a pun on "Bellevue," also in Manhattan?), full of obese idiots, an obese Statue of Liberty (holding a hamburger instead of a torch) and diminutive, big-eared Italian-Americans. I am all for criticism of American policy and American culture, but this is just mean-spirited and snide, armed with nasty pot-shots and pure bile (the loser of the racing-cockfight the Americans construct gets a bullet in the head) and though it does try to criticize its own country (frogs legs, the house that leans 'left,' the racing obsession), the most cruel barbs are aimed at the U.S. What also doesn't help is the thinness of the material, which turns a fifteen-minute cartoon into a feature length film.