City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Stars To Come Out for EIFF's Good But Not Daring Brave

By edg - Posted on 26 June 2012

Brave - Merida fires arrow

The Scottish stars of Disney-Pixar’s Brave will be piped onto a red carpet at the Festival Theatre for the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) closing gala and European Premiere of Brave on Saturday.

Brave actors Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane, and Kelly MacDonald (who voices the lead part of tussled, red-haired heroine Princess Merida) will be at the screening, which has a Scottish premiere on 3rd August and UK premiere on 17 August.

Brave director Mark Andrews, producer Katherine Sarafian, composer Patrick Doyle, and musician Julie Fowlis will also be at the premiere.

Brave has just topped the US box office taking $66.7m in its opening 3-day weekend. It's the second biggest debut in the month of June (Toy Story 3 holds first place).

Critics seem to agree that the film is good by any standard, but that after its marriage to Disney, Pixar has trod a more conventional path in its treatment than fans have come to expect of it.

Peter Debruge writing for industry magazine Variety described Brave as "a wee bit conventional" although "a resonant tribute to mother-daughter relationships".

Ben Child at The Guardian praised "Brave's gorgeous and innovative use of shading and colour – the movie has the look of a living, breathing pastel painting". Acknowledging that "Brave may appear to have been misnamed" when compared to previous Pixar films, he adds:

"At its heart, this is a Pixar film which eschews the genre's trademark reliance on facile, saccharine moralism in favour of the robust, no-nonsense and heartfelt nonconformity that runs through all the studio's best efforts."

Richard Larson writing for the difficult-to-please Slant writes "Brave is very much a story of a pretty girl getting what she wants... the film offers nothing more than a caricature of a well-worn conceit (a princess doesn't fit into her shiny box, so she just breaks all the rules and does what she wants), neatly repackaged for another generation of young moviegoers who haven't met Princess Jasmine from Aladdin and don't realize that they're eating yesterday's leftovers."

Todd McCarthy for the Hollywood Reporter writes: "Younger kids won't mind, but many viewers accustomed to relying upon Pixar for something special will feel a sense of letdown due to the lack of adventurousness."

Dana Stevens (responding to the "backlash") writes of Brave for Slate: "I can’t wait to show it to my 6-year-old daughter. It’s a rollicking children’s entertainment, gorgeously animated and wittily cast, and also an unusually astute exploration of the complex bond between mothers and daughters, a relationship that’s often either elided or sentimentalized in children’s literature and film."

Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives Brave a critical score of 75%, which is strong but not as stellar as one might expect given Pixar's pedigree.

Still, it's sure to be a great send-off for this year's EIFF.

Closing Night Gala guests announced include First Minister Alex Salmond, Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop, and Chairman of VisitScotland Mike Cantlay.

Familar Scottish actors who will be showing their faces on the red carpet are Brian Cox, Kate Dickie, Iain Glen, Douglas Henshall, Ewen Bremner (who is also an EIFF Juror), Stephen McCole, Daniela Nardini, as well as Young Adam director David Mackenzie.

EIFF Award Winners will also be attending.

The EIFF awards ceremony takes place at Filmhouse on Saturday between 1pm and 2pm.

Awards categories are:

  • Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film
  • Award for Best Film in the International Feature Competition
  • Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film
  • Award for Best Film in the British Short Film Competition
  • McLaren Award for New British Animation
  • Award for Best Film in the International Short Film Competition
  • Student Critics Jury Award