on April 29, 2004
The above quote is by James Oliver Curwood, author of The Grizzly King, the novel on which this film is based to an extent.
This film is among the most wonderful films that I have ever seen. It is rare to see a film that displays such a beautiful message in such a simple and wonderful story as this one does.
The film takes you through the trials of Youk's first year as a bear cub. You see that Youk and other animals have feelings, just like people do. To those who say that we share no qualities with animals, you are wrong. In my opinion, animals are more truthful in their emotions and feelings than people often are.
This film has a very touching story, with powerful scenes that will make you laugh, cry, and put you on the edge of your seat from the start of the film through to its finale. Watch the film for at least five minutes, you'll be cheering for that little guy (Youk) and his friend, Bart. You'll be hooked at that point.
Whatever your age or preference in movies is, give this film a chance, and you won't be disappointed.
on December 3, 2000
"The Bear" is the only movie I've ever seen of its kind. It's the story of a little orphaned bear and a wounded Kodiak bear who become friends and try to elude a couple of bear hunters. Along the way, the bears' friendship will grow stronger and they will face dangers other than from the hunters, such as a mountain lion, dogs, and swift waters.
"The Bear" is a great movie to watch, especially one to watch with the family. The bears are real bears, so they don't talk where you can understand them, but you can understand them perfectly by their actions and gestures. It's an exciting adventure with the bears. The movie has great photography with all the closeups and the footage of the animals. It also has great scenery because the movie was filmed in the Alps.
If you like animals, I recommend getting "The Bear." It'll be a movie that you will never forget and that you will want to watch again and again for many years to come. There needs to be more movies like "The Bear."
on December 15, 2001
_The Bear_ is based on the novel _The Grizzly King_ by James Curwood (Curwood was to Canada what Zane Grey was to Utah). But never mind the middling source material; the important thing is that director Jean-Jacques Annaud has used it as the basis of a truly astonishing film. The cinematography alone justifies the project -- but it must be seen in its proper widescreen ratio. Once the film is panned and scanned, most of the stunning British Columbia landscapes are lost, leaving viewers with a slow-paced, sentimental story about a bear cub they never quite see.
But in the proper widescreen ratio, the film's apparent flaws turn to strengths. The slow pace gives us time to contemplate characters' relationships to the land (even as it allows the film to establish its own rhythm). And the wild vastness of this land undercuts any sentimentality; it is always clear that the land is harsh, and that its dangers are real and terrifying.
By the way, this is probably the only film to depict (albeit fictionally) an animal getting high on psychedelic mushrooms. I suppose this is because bears don't have the sense to just say no. Or maybe it's just because the director is French.
Three stars, but add two more if you're seeing this film in widescreen. The bigger the screen, the better.
on February 27, 2004
The Bear is a remarkable work of cinema. I think that anyone who sees this film will be moved by its depiction of the inherent dignity of all creatures. It stands as a moving indictment against killing animals for fun, trophy, or sport. The greatest thrill is not to kill, but to let live. Please take an opportunity to experience this film for yourself and share it with your family. Its moving message will definitely stay with you.
on April 3, 2004
'The Bear' is a fantastic nature film and then some that is not to be missed, with absolutely breathtaking nature and mountain vistas! In short, it is a story about hunter and hunted. The main actors are in fact, real life bears, who were trained to be in front of movie cameras but in a real life mountain setting. They are very very convincing to say the least, and they will touch your heart. The 'cuteness factor' is off the scale here. In addition, there are 2 other main human actors, the hunters, in this case. 'The Bear' is chock full of many profound messages and lessons, the main one being that all life is precious and sacred, and that animals have a right to their natural habitat and to be free from suffering undue cruelty, as do we. This is a lesson that knows no political or ideological bounds, that all humans can and should relate to. If this movie does not touch you in any way, you are an automaton. I am a grown man of 43, and I got very misty during some powerful scenes. Don't miss this excellent work of art!
on May 6, 2002
I KNOW what you're thinking... How could all these freaky people feel so strongly about a movie about a BEAR ??, and with almost no dialogue. Well, this is a FABULOUS movie, for adults as well as children.(Maybe more so.) It shows that, with a beautiful, simple story, and no computerization, that a terriffic movie can still be made. This movie is not only beautifully filmed amongst breath-taking natural locations, but has wonderful and true lessons about man and animals, and our supposed superiority over them. You will fall in love with the little orphaned bear cub as he struggles to survive the assaults of hunters, elements, and other beasts. As you're watching it, those tears are welling up in your eyes because you realize the little fellow is only searching for what we're all searching for, someone to love and protect us in this harsh world. (You ARE, so don't deny it!) The little bear who played "the bear" deserved at least the same academy award that Judy Garland received for "The Wizard Of Oz", best actor in a juvenile role. When I first saw this film, which was by accident, I was surprised at how moved I was by it. And, amazed at what the film makers got the animals to so realistically do. Well, on viewing it again recently, I was just as impressed, and just as overwhelmed. By the last five climactic minutes, I was blubbering right on schedule. You will be too.(I'm crying now thinking of it, I need to get a life!) I don't own it, but I've decided I have to buy it, it's just too good not to be re-watched every so often. You don't have to be an animal lover (I am,... you should be), to love this movie. A pure, wonderful, heart-tugging, simple but powerful film, definatley a classic. Watch it with those you love.
on July 10, 2004
Wonderful film with the animal's point of view. This has funny moments,tender moments,goofy moments and some very tense moments.
This also includes some beautiful scenery.
Definitely get this one!
on August 7, 2002
Almost all fictional films about animals have either cuteness or unreality or both. Documentaries are often engrossing, but always in the third person--we watch as the outside, disinterested observer.
This amazing film provides an almost unbelievable window into the lives of the two bears, from their perspective, with but or two false steps. There are many small, non-dramatic moments that cumulatively fill the canvas. The attention to detail is extraordinary.
With hardly any dialogue, only the spare speech of the hunters, the film yet moves forward, sometimes dramatically, more often over over a small moment. In many instances we do not see the entire animal or person, but only enough so that the essence of whatever is occurring is so clear and immediate. The film makers' framing, shot selection, and editing is so completely convincing.
With awe inspiring scenery that takes away the breath (and pangs over missing the deeply felt emotion that backcountry beauty has provided me) and a view of animals being animals in nature.
Yes, there is some sentimentality. But it is little compared to most other fictional films, and I no longer think of animals in the wilderness as I did before.
The Bear belongs up there. No, not in the pantheon, but significantly higher in the firmament than most. Perhaps an extraordinary claim, but this is an extraordinary film.
on November 9, 2002
If this movie doesn't move you to tears at least once then check your pulse-you're probably clinically dead! Superlatives don't do this beautiful film justice at all. Beautifully photographed,directed and edited it's a winner in every department. Ironically, this talented duo manage to muster up more genuine sentiment and emotion here than Meg Ryan has in her entire career. You really do care about these bears and find yourself rooting for them. The bond between them is completely believeable, and they give better performances than any humans I've seen in recent memory. Ironically for a film with so little human interaction it has more humanity than most films. Living proof you don't need a $50 million dollar budget, big-name stars and all those other perks we've come to expect to make a good movie.
Quite simply THE best film I've ever seen.
on November 12, 2001
This has to be one of the best movies made - ever. Maybe it's not on the huge theatrical level as the Ten Commandments but the scenery is stunning and the bears in the movie - well if you don't fall in love with the little cub and his plight then you have no heart. His adventures, mishaps, struggles and ultimately surviving and winning can bring you to tears, laughter, anger and then joy.
The Bear shows what man can learn from animals - compassion and respect. That confrontation between two enemies does not have to end in death. Any person of any age can enjoy this film. When I watched it, it was with my five year old niece and up to my 75 year old father and no one left the room while watching this movie.
Please watch it and for a couple of hours rejoice in nature and good. And a very happy ending.