screenplay by Meg LeFauve & Josh Cooley and Pete Docter
directed by Pete Docter
by Walter Chaw Films are objects and their interpretations are subjective. I start this way because there's a sequence in Pete Docter's Inside Out that enters an area of, literally, abstract thought--and then later, its characters accidentally spill crates of "facts" and "opinions" and have trouble getting them sorted out again. ("It happens all the time," they're reassured.) Someone brilliant once said that the measure of a work is the extent to which it's examined. Inside Out is destined to be examined a lot and, therefore, deserves a great deal of merit--but for as uncannily perceptive as it is at times, it's just as often pernicious in its gender stereotyping and establishment of straw situations that betray its core honesty. I'm reminded of Docter's similarly-flawed, similarly-schizophrenic Up, whose prologue is easily among the cinema's best silent melodramas while the rest of it is missed opportunity, curious under-reaching, and overly dependant on shtick. Docter's cited Paper Moon as a seminal film in his development. Of his three movies thus far, only his first, Monsters, Inc., deserves mention in the same conversation from start to bittersweet finish.