Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Along the rhythm of the changing seasons they watch one another. Bestiary unfolds like a filmed picture book about mutual observation, about peculiar perception. A contemplation of a stable imbalance, and of lose, calm and indefinable elements. (Metafilms)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Reviewed by: Calum Marsh
    Oct 16, 2012
    88
    Bestiaire argues persuasively without words, making a case without explicating one at all.
  2. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Oct 18, 2012
    80
    This may not be a fuzzy wuzzy, warm-and-cuddly song to animals, but in revealing the everyday, sometimes repellent surrealism of the park - where zebras, elephants, camels and ostriches walk among slowly moving cars, and lions bang wildly against their small cages - he forces you to look at the often unseen. It may not be pretty, but it is essential viewing.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Feb 20, 2013
    80
    The film has a meditative calm about it — there are only a few murmured words of French but nothing that could be called dialogue — with also some underlying tension, because as you look at the animals, they so often look back, their inscrutable consciousness both placid and unyielding.
  4. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Oct 16, 2012
    70
    Bestiaire is, most profoundly, about the dynamics of looking, an exercise in studying gazes that are either unidirectional or, superficially, at least, reciprocated.
  5. Reviewed by: Sam Stander
    Oct 18, 2012
    70
    There's a compulsion to describe a film with such a slow and unusual pace as poetic - it already has a Netflix blurb calling it "lyrical" - but Bestiaire's best quality is its unpretentiousness.
  6. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Jan 3, 2013
    63
    The images are meant to accumulate shame, and they do. But they also might be too much.
  7. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Oct 16, 2012
    60
    Tediousness sets in eventually; there's only so much zoological abyss-gazing one can do.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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