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EO (2022)

JoeStemme

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Title: EO

Tagline: May all your dreams come true.

Genre: Drama

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski

Cast: Sandra Drzymalska, Isabelle Huppert, Lorenzo Zurzolo, Mateusz Kościukiewicz, Tomasz Organek, Lolita Chammah, Agata Sasinowska, Anna Rokita, Michał Przybysławski, Gloria Iradukunda, Piotr Szaja, Aleksander Janiszewski, Delfina Wilkońska, Andrzej Szeremeta, Wojciech Andrzejuk, Mateusz Murański, Marcin Drabicki, Maciej Stępniak, Fernando Junior Gomes da Silva, Krzysztof Karczmarz, Waldemar Barwiński, Saverio Fabbri, Katarzyna Russ, Marietta The Donkey, Tako, Kateřina Holánová, Rocco, Mela, Ettore

Release: 2022-09-30

Runtime: 88

Plot: The world is a mysterious place when seen through the eyes of an animal. EO, a grey donkey with melancholic eyes, meets good and bad people on his life’s path, experiences joy and pain, endures the wheel of fortune randomly turn his luck into disaster and his despair into unexpected bliss. But not even for a moment does he lose his innocence.

EO (2002). Now streaming on the Criterion Channel and for VOD rental.

Acclaimed Director Jerzy Skolimowski's (Deep End, Moonlighting) latest is about Eo, a circus performer who gets cast aside when the show suddenly closes. The only one who seems to care is Eo's onstage co-star, Kasandra (Sandra Drzymalska). Eo is a donkey.

Skolimowski doesn't try to overly anthropomorphize Eo, nor frame angles from the creature's POV. The camera simply observes Eo (played by six donkeys of both sexes) as it gets bounced from one situation to the next as the critter interacts with people along its path. Cinematographer Michael Dymek and his team create an intense mood as the camera tracks, glides and comes in close to approximate the world as Eo experiences it. A red filter is utilized in several of the night-time scenes giving them an ominous, spectral feel. Pawel Mykietyn's synthesized score adds to the surreal atmosphere.

Eo always is seen from the perspective of where a donkey falls on the food chain. The humans are clearly viewed as the real “animals”. An easy target, perhaps, but, usually justified under the circumstances. The other beasts are treated just as carelessly, with one sequence in a pound showing the true terror in their eyes. At one point Eo observes a robotic quadruped slinking and slithering through the night in the brush. It would be nightmare fuel for a person, never mind a scared lonely donkey.

The one major miscalculation is when Skolimowski departs from Eo's perspective to observe some soccer hooligans and later, Isabelle Huppert in a Sicilian villa. Eo is present, but, pushed aside. The scenes have some thematic connections, but, they break the spell.

Fortunately, Eo is such a compelling and lovable animal that the diversions are only momentary. It's an admirable and gripping adventure.
 

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Movie information in first post provided by The Movie Database

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