Luca: Disney+ Film Review

Luca

Courtesy of Disney

I haven’t heard that much about Luca and I fear the marketing push hasn’t been as big as other Pixar releases, which is a shame because this movie is a total delight and is a perfect way to get you in the summer mood.

Luca, the shortest Pixar film since Toy Story, is set in 1950s/60s Italy. It follows a sea monster named Luca (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) who makes a friend named Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer) and comes to discover that he can take human form on land, just like Alberto. After he learns more about the human way of life on their island, they put their knowledge to the test by going to the seaside fishing town of Portorosso. They both dream of buying a Vespa so they can go off on adventures, and they believe winning the Portorosso Cup – a triathlon involving cycling, swimming and eating pasta – is their way to raise the cash.

A lot of Pixar’s recent releases have been grand, ambitious films which take on big existential themes so in comparison Luca feels very slight and small in scale, but that’s not a negative – it is refreshing to have a more simplistic, grounded isolated story. I’ll always prefer a small story told very well than a big one that’s bitten off more than it can chew.

I wasn’t completely sold on the story at first; I didn’t think this sea monster tale would really hook me in, but I was soon won over by the characters and this lovely coming-of-age story. And somewhere along the line I became so invested in this story of young male friendship that I surprised myself by crying at the end! Who knew this film would be so moving?! And it was also so much funnier than I expected it to be and made me properly laugh out loud several times (most of them being because of the cat).

Tremblay was well cast as the young, naive and timid Luca, I liked Grazer as the confident and more experienced Alberto, who takes him under his wing, as well as Maya Rudolph and Jim Gaffigan as Luca’s overprotective parents, but my favourites were Emma Berman as Giulia, she has so much personality and sass, and Saverio Raimondo as Ercole, the slimy antagonist, sea monster hunter and reigning Portorosso Cup champ.

I use the word “lovely” far too often in reviews but it really is the best word to sum up Luca. It tells a charming story about acceptance and how people are scared by what they don’t know/people who are different. The visuals are as gorgeous as you’d expect from a Pixar film and will make you want to go on holiday to Italy. It’s a shame that it’s going on Disney+ as I would have loved to see this on the big screen. I’m ready to see it again!

On Disney+ from Friday 18th June

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

June in film: My recommendations

In the Heights

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

The cinemas are back open and there’s lots of exciting releases coming up this month!

So without further ado, here are my top recommendations for June (released in cinemas unless stated otherwise):

A Quiet Place Part II

Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds are back for more in this sequel to the amazing 2018 horror. This one continues right where that first film finishes off and follows the Abbott family as they try to find a new home. Expect more jumps and plenty of unsettling tension as they encounter the monsters, which hunt by sound. My review is already live, check it out here. Released: 3rd June.

The Father

This release is supremely delayed but you’ll finally be able to find out why Anthony Hopkins well and truly deserved his Best Actor Oscar win! His performance as a man suffering from dementia is absolutely devastating and if the final 10 minutes don’t reduce you to tears then you have a heart of stone! This film is clever and deliberately disorientating to put us in the shoes of somebody with dementia. Can’t recommend enough. Here’s my review. Released: 11th June.

In the Heights

I loved Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s stage musical so I’m very excited about the movie adaptation, directed by Crazy Rich Asians’ Jon M. Chu! This film tells the story of different characters living in the Washington Heights neighbourhood of New York City, and judging by the trailer, I’m going to love every second of it. Cannot wait to see all the singing and dancing on the big screen! Released: 18th June.

Luca

I always expect a very high standard from Pixar’s films and so I have high hopes for Luca, an animation based in 1950s Italy. It tells the story of best friends Luca and Alberto who are both hiding a secret – they’re sea monsters! It looks so good! Released on Disney+ (with no premium fee): 18th June.

F9

The ninth instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise looks set to be the most ridiculous one yet! But wouldn’t you be disappointed if they went for realism instead of defying the laws of physics?! Blockbusters are certainly back in business. Newcomer John Cena joins the franchise as Vin Diesel‘s onscreen brother and nemesis. Released: 24th June.

Supernova

Now for something a little different. This lovely drama stars Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as Sam and Tusker, a couple who go on a trip in an RV to visit their favourite spots and people before Tusker deteriorates further in his battle with dementia. Two dementia films in one month! I saw this at the London Film Festival and cried so I’d definitely recommend tissues for this one. Here’s my LFF review. Released: 25th June.

There are other honourable mentions coming up, including Dream Horse, In the Earth, Land, Shiva Baby, Nobody, and The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.

In Brief: Today’s Top Celeb News

1. Katy Perry will get to keep her and Russell’s marital home in LA once the divorce is finalised. Russell has let her have the £4 million mansion as part of their settlement. The divorce will be official at the end of June.

2. Rihanna wears pyjamas to the Japan premiere of Battleship:

3. Madame Tussauds has unveiled the waxworks of Kate Middleton and Prince William today. I think Kate looks pretty good in general but I don’t think Wills mouth region is quite right. Check out the picture below and see how realistic you think the wax figures are.

4. Hilary Duff tweeted pictures of her two-week-old son Luca last night saying “Proud mamma on the loose!i can’t help myself..” He is so cute!

5. Another Katy Perry story. Check out the trailer for her 3D concert movie Part Of Me, which will be released in the summer. It follows her on the California Dreams worldwide tour- you will see behind-the-scenes preparations, on stage footage plus personal down-time footage. Her divorce will be mentioned but I doubt she will talk about it much. The movie talks about her upbringing and her rise to success. It’s not really a movie I would see because I think this type of documentary is better off on TV. I would be interested to see it but I consider this type of film to be ego-boosting, so I wouldn’t go to the cinema for it.