The film that captured my heart this year more than any other was “Up.” The storytelling is dazzling in its specificity, imagination and simplicity. I found the montage sequence at the beginning of the film almost unbearably moving, and the use of music throughout struck me as inspired. One is almost spoiled by the remarkable visuals in Pixar films at this point, so I was prepared to be blown away. What I wasn’t prepared for was Pete Docter’s singular vision that held the story together, the pitch-perfect performances (Ed Asner!) and the alternately devastating and joyous emotional journey I was taken on. This is cinematic art of the highest caliber, and completely accessible in the very best way. Who could ask for anything more?
Michael Mayer won a Tony for his direction of “Spring Awakening,” and looks to bring “American Idiot,” which he helmed in San Francisco, to New York City later this year.