Watch: IO 2022 123movies, Full Movie Online – Follows a donkey who encounters on his journeys good and bad people, experiences joy and pain, exploring a vision of modern Europe through his eyes..
Plot: The world is a mysterious place when seen through the eyes of an animal. EO, a grey donkey with melancholic eyes, meets good and bad people on his life’s path, experiences joy and pain, endures the wheel of fortune randomly turn his luck into disaster and his despair into unexpected bliss. But not even for a moment does he lose his innocence.
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|7.0/10 Votes: 1,004|
|95% | RottenTomatoes|
|76/100 | MetaCritic|
|N/A Votes: 40 Popularity: 8.123 | TMDB|
Looks like an Oscar-worthy performance by a donkey, but actually an editing masterclass
The biggest surprise of the Cannes film festival this year was probably that the Prix du Jury went to a film about a donkey. Not just that a donkey played a big role in the film, but the donkey was the protagonist of the film, and genuinely played by a donkey.
Surprisingly enough, that works. It might sound crazy at first to watch a film which follows throughout the entire runtime a donkey which can’t speak or really express his feelings, but it actually works. That’s due to the fantastic work of the team behind the film. Much of the success is due to director Jerzy Skolimowski, who seemed to know exactly what he was doing and how he wanted the film to look in the end. But he wouldn’t have succeeded in making an interesting film about a donkey if it wasn’t for his DoP Michal Dymek and his film editor Agniezka Glinska. Their collaboration results in giving the donkey a character, and making us believe that EO is actually played by a fantastic actor. There were a few moments throughout the film where I actually thought that this donkey should get an Oscar. Of course I was always fully aware that a donkey can’t act, and that this is only technical expertise. Film editor Glinska used for example one of the oldest montage techniques of the history of film, the Kuleshov effect, which proved that editing is the key to every film, and that the audience can actually interprete the actor’s feelings rather by the following shot than by his expressions. When Kuleshov tested the effect, he edited a (never-changing) close-up of an expressionless man, together with three alternate ending shots: a dead child in a coffin, a bowl of soup, and a woman lying on a divan. Audiences interpreted the expression on the actor’s face as sadness, hunger and lust, although it was always the same. This effect got reused by Hitchcock many times, especially in his masterpiece “Rear Window”.
In EO, this effect is used many times: A shot of the donkey’s eye followed by a shot of animals being mistreated, makes us believe the donkey is actually sad. Another shot of the donkey (who was probably only wondering why people are standing for weeks with a camera around him) followed by his circus “mother” returning to him makes us believe he is happy, and so on. Paired with incredibly impressive and beautiful images, EO actually turns out to be a very interesting and refreshing film, even amongst experimental cinema.
Nonetheless, you’re watching a donkey for 80+ minutes. And after a while, you start to feel that. You’re waiting for some kind of emotional conflict, some interesting dialogue, etc, – which the director then tries to include by introducing side characters. But those side characters don’t work at all, as they only distract from the main story and leave the audience completely cold. Even a great actress like Isabelle Huppert can’t save the film’s triviality by smashing a few plates when talking to her gambling addict son (who brought the donkey home with him). Instead, her acting – and every other actor too – feels completely misplaced and exaggerated, which is also due to the fact that the donkey always moves on very quickly after having met new persons, so no actor has more screen time than just a couple of minutes.
Last but not least, the film also doesn’t manage to entertain enough through the message alone. As to expect, the film speaks a lot about animal exploitation and mistreatment and ultimately advocates for animal rights, but the message is clear after a few minutes, and the ending of the film – which I won’t spoil here – doesn’t work either, which ridiculousness the message a little.
But after all, EO is an interesting experiment, which surprisingly works due to the fantastic technical aspects. The film’s main flaws are in the screenplay (and of course also in the fact that the protagonist is a donkey), but luckily, the film runs only 86 minutes, so you can overlook these weaknesses and still enjoy watching it.
Original Language pl
Runtime 1 hr 26 min (86 min)
Director Jerzy Skolimowski
Writer Ewa Piaskowska, Jerzy Skolimowski
Actors Sandra Drzymalska, Isabelle Huppert, Lorenzo Zurzolo
Country Poland, Italy
Awards 4 wins & 9 nominations
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix N/A
Aspect Ratio 1.50 : 1
Camera ARRI Mini LF and Canon K35 lenses, Leica Macro-Elmarit-R 60 mm
Film Length N/A
Negative Format N/A
Cinematographic Process ARRIRAW (4.5K) (source format)
Printed Film Format DCP