Dir: Ignacio Ferreras
*****Ignacio Ferreras' beautiful 2011 animation is an adaptation of Paco Roca's comic strip 'Wrinkles' that collects and combines various vignettes written/drawn since its conception in 2007. It is fair to say that Ignacio Ferreras brings the comic strip to life without losing the heart of what made the comic strip so popular in the first place. Ferreras worked on Sylvain Chomet's Oscar nominated The Illusionist and has made a film very much in the same style. While Roca's comic strip will often cause the reader to pause for thought, Ferreras' interpretation and lengthening of the format gives a real resonance to the idea, story and characters as well as their experiences in old age. It is never manipulative or overtly sentimental but I couldn't help but find it deeply emotional. This is not down to melodrama or blackmail either, but rather because it makes it quite clear that old people were once young people and old age is something that most of us will one day experience. The realization that people do treat the elderly differently is saddening but very real and Wrinkles explores the various challenges that older people experience and how they are seen. The film's main characters are Emilio and Miguel. Emilio shows the signs of early Alzheimer's and after the death of his wife, his son feels it best that he goes into a home where he can be better looked after. He ends up sharing a room with Miguel, a young at heart resident who is the only one there by choice. The two men are chalk and cheese but seem to have ended up in the same place anyway. The two men go over their lives and try to make sense of things as well keep Emilio's Alzheimer's a secret from the staff so that he doesn't end up being moved 'upstairs' where the bed ridden go and never return from. The film covers a lot of ground without simplifying anything or anyone, it is both sad and heart-warming and has genuine poignancy but without being predictable or by pleasing the audience just for the sake of it. Indeed, the story doesn't really go anywhere near or where you might expect or perhaps want it to go, such is life and old age itself, but it remains true to story, strip and the people it represents. It's by far one of the best films of 2011 and one of the greatest animations of its kind. No stereotypes, just a beautiful observation from people who understand that you need to be a good listener in order to be a good storyteller.