Actress Heather Graham is at the Toronto International Film Festival this week promoting her new movie, The Flying Machine. I am hesitant to call it a children’s film, because truthfully, even though it’s a family friendly film and many children will adore it, the real beauty of it will resonate with a much older, artsier group. I have no doubt that children will love the animated and funny story-within-a-story, and they will enjoy the adventures that happen aboard the flying piano, but this movie is not just a movie—it’s a work of art.
Oscar-winning producer Hugh Welchman brings the music of Chopin to life by making it the backdrop for a story about stressed, workaholic single mother Georgie (Graham) who takes her two children Jane and Fred to see the famous pianist Lang Lang performing the etudes of Chopin.
While Lang Lang is on stage, we are brought into the stop-motion animated world of Anna and her cousin Chip Chip, and their quest to find Anna’s father on top of the flying machine. The story is delightful, but because it is set only to the sounds of Lang Lang playing Chopin, viewers will have to infer from body language and gestures that Anna’s father’s shop was closed down and she was sent—begrudgingly—to live with her cousin while he goes off to find work.
The film really conveys a wonderful message about the importance of family. Georgie doesn’t just learn that her children can run off quickly while she’s busy on her smartphone, she actually learns a whole lot more. And as her daughter Jane says as the movie opens, it was the day that her mother changed. Through the magic of a machine, the magic of music and the magic of the two precious people in her life, Georgie gets a new appreciation for some of the finer things in life. And I think the same can be true of the audience of The Flying Machine.
—Ali, senior associate editor of CF.ca
One lucky reader is going to win an advance copy of The Flying Machine! All you have to do is leave us a comment below and tell us: what’s your all-time favourite family film? The giveaway closes Monday September 19th at 5 p.m., so don’t miss your chance to win this awesome prize. Good luck!