Grey drizzle wreaths my town like a soft marshmallow of sadness. But a wet marshmallow.
The lights of the cinema cut through the dreary mist like a hot knife through a dead or dying frog.
I enter and the smell of poorly made crisps and sadness assaults me.
I am here to endure a piece by the name of Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature.
My hopes are not high. They are low. Low like the tide on a cruel grey winter’s eve.
It becomes clear quickly that the initially confusing and nonsensical subtitle is a pun on the phrase ‘naughty by nature.’
This is both clever and amusing, much like a pierrot clown who is quite clever.
The lead character, a squirrel by the name of Surly is both quite naughty and possibly mentally disturbed, thus being both nutty and naughty.
After the intelligence of this wordplay has embedded itself, I find myself watching Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature in a whole new light.
There is a great deal to enjoy here. The bond amongst the cartoon animals, some nutty, some naughty, in their quest to save the park, is redolent of the quiet and noble resistance in Rossellini’s Rome: Open City.
Yet the humour at work is up there with the finest of master satirists like Kubrick and Tati.
I am moved by the ending and feel enriched by the experience.
The drizzle as I make my way home seems lighter, like a much lighter, but still wet, marshmallow.
Screen Idle star rating **** – the bit where the squirrel farts is well funny.