Belle and Sebastian, The Adventure Continues is the sequel to the 2013 French film Belle and Sebastian. The original movie was dubbed into English in 2015. The sequel is being screened at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival in French with English subtitles. Because I loved the original version, I was hopeful but cautious going into this film.
Belle and Sebastian, The Adventure Continues – Review
I attended this screening with my 11-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son. Within the first five minutes, I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed, but by the end, I decided like this movie better than the first. At the end of the original story, set in WWII, Sebastian’s surrogate mother, Angélina leaves to go fight with the Resistance. At the beginning of this film, the war has just ended, Angélina is headed home when her plane goes down in the mountains bordering Spain and France. Belle and Sebastian set off to find and save her. In the process they make new friends, come to terms with ghosts from the past and have an exciting (although often implausible adventure).
This is a film that, although subtitled, can be enjoyed by kids who are not yet strong readers. The action is almost non-stop and the conversation is pretty easy to follow or unnecessary to the bigger plot. My 7-year-old was literally on the edge of his seat for a good portion of this movie. The film is 97 fast-paced minutes.
We’ve made exploring the parks around the Stone Arch Bridge part of our film festival tradition, and I could see the adventurous nature of Sebastian had rubbed off on both of my kids as they explored less-traveled paths, skipped across shallow creek areas and climbed “mountains” in the lower path by the river. As we crossed the Stone Arch Bridge they insisted on walking on the ledge (which while perfectly safe, makes a mom nervous). Belle and Sebastian — either the original or sequel — is a great film for active kids or for encouraging active kids.
As an adult, the deeper story had me both laughing and in tears at times. While Belle and Sebastian are the main characters, I found myself identifying with the adults in the story. The story was both touching and exciting.
This film was originally reviewed as part of the Childish Films section of the 2017 Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival. FFTC was provided with tickets to facilitate our review. Find more movie reviews from past film festivals here.