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Celeste Gardner

Yeah... what he said... I think the emotional complexity of this movie, and the loose ends (Russell's dad and mom??) are among its strengths. This movie will certainly serve as a catalyst for many meaningful conversations between adults or between adults and children. I suspect that many a child (and adult) will look at their curmudgeonly neighbors in a new light after seeing the world through Carl's eyes.

David - one thing you forgot: to list Ellie as a supporting character. Though she isn't physically present for most of the flick she is always there in spirit, as a driving force. I could read into your ommission, but I won't!

DF

You're right about Ellie, though I was going to say that this film is very male in orientation, almost like a Native American spirit quest. At the same time there is Ellie and the house always there.

No more, spoilers would follow.

Celeste Gardner

The house is feminine? Stereotypically perhaps, but note that the house is in its best form only when there is a married couple living in it. It's trashed when it's just Ellie's and takes a beating once she is gone.

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