By John Corrado
★★★ (out of 4)
Blending animation and live action across a mix of genres and styles, Zoom weaves together the interconnecting stories of three different artists, to offer a film that’s both entertaining and totally unique.
The live action scenes focus on an aspiring comic book artist (Allison Pill) who works in a factory making realistic sex dolls, saving up to get breast implants, and a model (Mariana Ximenis) who dreams of writing a novel. The animated sequences follow an indie film director (Gael García Bernal) struggling to regain creative control over his arthouse project from a money-hungry producer (Don McKellar).
Although Zoom sometimes bites off a little more than it can chew, the sheer ballsiness of this project, a crowdfunded co-production between Canada and Brazil, deserves to be applauded. The film is bursting with style, both in the pop art inspired look of the live action scenes and the sharp lined sketches of the animated sequences. The screenplay is also full of heady ideas about the intersecting lines between sex and art, and who controls the destiny of the ones controlling our destiny.
As director Pedro Morelli and writer Matt Henson pretty seamlessly weave together all of these different characters and narrative strands, colliding them in the endlessly inventive last act, there is no doubt that they are in complete control over their own material. As a trippy and captivatingly absurd high concept comedy, Zoom is an admirably ambitious independent film that provides a unique viewing experience, and could easily find a cult following.
Zoom is opening in limited release in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver on Friday. It’s expanding to Ottawa on August 24th, and is also available on demand.