Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol’s “Phantom Boy” is a delicious bit of whimsy about Leo, an eleven-year-old confined to a hospital bed, but whose imagination cannot be restrained.
His abilities to soar and be invisible and pass through walls are revealed when he meets another patient, Lance, a police officer injured by a mysterious, disfigured gangster. Lance has only twenty-four hours to save New York City—Investigation commence! Felicioli and Gagnol’s deft, light old-school strokes are familiar from their Oscar-nominated “A Cat in Paris” (2010), and their beautiful line elevates the clock-ticking blanc-cum-noir caper above the confines of plot. (The treatment of the boy’s illness and his feats of imagination are, in a modest way, in league with the empathy demonstrated in Pixar’s “Inside Out.”) 84m. Widescreen. (Ray Pride)
“Phantom Boy” opens Friday, August 12 at the Music Box.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.