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Ross Family Movie Challenge: 'Matilda' vs. 'A Cat in Paris'

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; GKIDS

Every week EW’s Dalton Ross and his wife, writer Christina Kelly, have a… um, lively discussion about what movie they should watch with their two children (Dale, 12, and Violet, 10) that weekend. Now they make their cases publicly and you get to vote on the choices and settle the argument. The power is in your hands, people. It is no lie to say that Dalton’s seclection of ‘WALL-E’ beat Christina’s pick of ‘Pinocchio’ last week. Can Dalton keep his winning streak going? Will Christina bounce back? Read on and then vote for what film they should watch this weekend.

Dalton’s Pick: Matilda (1996)
I have to be honest — I had no idea this movie even existed. But my daughter came home from school the other day and said, “Daddy, I want to watch Matilda. Can you make that your next pick for the next Movie Challenge?” She laid it on super thick, even employing her puppy dog eyes and baby voice for maximum resistance-is-futile cuteness. Okay, fine.

The film is an adaptation of the book of the same name. My son got it in a Roald Dahl box set a few years back and the kids totally dug it. And what’s not to dig when it’s all about how awful parents and school administrators are? As far as I can tell, that’s the basis of every great children’s story. In this case, Matilda has to deal with an awful father and mother (real-life on-and-off couple Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman) who enroll her in an even more awful school. But before you know it — TELEKINESIS! That’s right, it turns out Matilda has supernatural powers (another staple I forgot of every great children’s story). I can’t speak to whether this movie is any good or not because I haven’t seen it, but I do know my daughter wants to watch it, so if you vote otherwise, you are smashing her dreams into little bits. Is picking a French film about a cat really worth that?

Christina’s Pick: A Cat in Paris (2012)
This past few weeks has been hard on me. It’s been one brutal RFMC loss after another. When we haven’t been watching Dalton’s winning films, he and the kids have been on a James Bond binge. I am so longing to watch this little French gem, which was nominated for an Academy Award last year. It’s almost like they used my brain as a focus group when coming up for the concept for this animated film. Cats and Paris are the two things that make my world warm and fuzzy. Putting the two together is like an endorphin explosion.

A Cat in Paris tells the story of a fatherless little girl, her police detective mother, and their cat, who roams the streets at night with a thief. It was dubbed in English with the voice of Marcia Gay Harden as the mother, and Angelica Huston as the nanny, but I would like to watch it in French with subtitles. We watched Le Petit Nicolas that way this summer, and the kids loved it. Dale is in his second year of French, and I am in my fifth, and it is good to watch movies in French while you are learning the language. Although je parle trés mal, je comprends beaucoup.

S’il vous plait, vote pour moi.



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