Au Hasard Balthazar
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Robert Bresson's acclaimed Au Hasard, Balthazar presents an unfettered view of human cruelty, suffering and injustice, filtered through the eyes of a donkey over the course of his long life. The burro at the film's center begins life peacefully and happily, as the unnamed play-object of some innocent children in bucolic France, but his circumstances change dramatically when he becomes the property of a young woman named Marie - who christens him Balthazar. As she grows up and encounters tragedy and heartbreak, so does Balthazar; he passes from owner to owner, who treat him in a variety… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film could have sunk beneath this symbolic burden, yet it is lightened by the speed and precision of Bresson's art; he could derive more from one pair of hands than most directors can from two hours of blood and guts."
‑ Anthony Lane, New Yorker
"The film is perhaps the director's most perfectly realised, and certainly his most moving."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"One of the great masterpieces of world cinema: austere, warm, grim, surreal, shocking and heartbreaking."
‑ Adrian Turner, Radio Times
"Very much deserves its art-house cred."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"The film does maintain a powerful mood throughout, a kind of stringency, and the fate of the humans fades into insignificance as the film draws to a bleak close."
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"Perhaps the greatest and most revolutionary of Bresson's films, Balthazar is a difficult but transcendently rewarding experience, never to be missed."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"This is neither an easy film, nor, in the show biz sense, an entertaining one. It makes large demands upon its audience, and in return confers exceptional rewards."
‑ Roger Greenspun, New York Times
"The antithesis of cute Disney films about animals, Au Hasard, Balthazar is a stark meditation on existence in which meaning is conveyed through images and sounds, culminating in a moment of sublime epiphany."
‑ , Total Film
"If you can see past the heavy-handed religious overtones you will encounter an inspired and deeply intelligent Bresson classic."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
"It's a study of human weakness and cruelty, it's a portrait of Christ the suffering servant, it's the heartbreaking story of a young girl's descent from innocence to despair. But above all, it's a movie about a donkey."
‑ Ron Reed, Christianity Today
"No film I have ever seen has come so close to convulsing my entire being as has Au Hasard Balthazar."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"Quietly devastating, nearly perfect allegory."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"With Bresson, patience is rewarding, and not just because Balthazar has an ending both strangely beautiful and profoundly sad. It's worth the effort to connect to this singular vision, one that's austere and humane in equal measure."
‑ Richard C. Walls, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"It's a cinematic experience that deserves to be discover for those who want more than what they are told to watch."
‑ Jason Morgan,
"Bresson's greatest masterpiece."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for Au Hasard Balthazar on Rotten Tomatoes

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