French theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Christian Volckman|
|Produced by||Roch Lener
|Screenplay by||Mathieu Delaporte
Alexandre de la Patellièr
|Story by||Alexandre de la Patellièr
|Music by||Nicholas Dodd|
|Editing by||Pascal Tosi|
|Distributed by||Pathé (France)
Miramax Films (USA)
|Running time||105 minutes|
|Box office||$1,831,348 (worldwide)|
Renaissance is a 2006 French black-and-white animated science fiction film by French director Christian Volckman. It was co-produced in France, United Kingdom and Luxembourg and released on 15 March 2006 in France and 28 July 2006 in the UK by Miramax Films. Renaissance features a rare visual style in which almost all images are exclusively black and white, with only occasional colour used for detail. The film centers on a policeman investigating the kidnapping of a scientist who holds the key to eternal life in a futuristic Paris.
The film opens with scenes establishing the kidnapping of 22-year-old scientist Ilona Tasuiev, who works for the megacorporation Avalon. The focus transitions to police captain Barthélémy Karas, as he defuses a hostage situation by killing the hostage-takers. Karas is soon after charged with solving the mystery of the disappearance of Ilona. Karas begins by contacting Dr. Jonas Muller, a former Avalon scientist familiar with her.
Muller had been working to cure progeria, which his brother was suffering from. Muller worked for Avalon as their top scientist but left after he failed to cure his brother. He took up new work at a free clinic. After Karas probes Jonas he finds that "No one ever leaves Avalon", throwing the corporation under suspicion. Karas leaves to visit Paul Dellenbach, one of Avalon's CEOs and questions him about Ilona's disappearance, suggesting that he may have been sleeping with her, to which Dellenbach replies "I sleep with my wife, I sleep with my secretary, I even sleep with my sister-in-law but I would never sleep with one of my researchers".
After following a series of dead leads, Karas finds Illona's car travelling on the road. He captures the driver, one of the henchmen of Farfella, an Arab Muslim mobster and a childhood friend of Karas. In return Farfella gives him a footage of Illona's car initially being stolen by an incredibly old man. Karas turns to Ilona's sister, Bislane. He asks her to break into the Avalon archives as she is currently employed there, and Bislane discovers that a Dr. Nakata worked with Muller and that their quest to find a cure failed when some of the children they were testing on started to mutate, causing them to destroy all evidence of their work.
Once they escape from Avalon security, Karas opens up to Bislane and tells her that he and Farfella were raised in the casbah and seemed to work with gangs. After a mission went wrong they ended up in a prison cell with Farfella escaping leaving Karas to the mercy of the other gang members. Karas then puts Bislane under false arrest to protect her from Avalon. As this occurs, Ilona is shown confined in a cyber ball, with the old man controlling what she sees.
Dr. Muller tells Karas that Ilona found the secret to eternal life (as he himself did 40 years before) and he couldn't let Avalon have it, revealing why he kidnapped her. Muller is mistakenly shot by the police when Karas confronts him. It is revealed that the old man is Jonas's younger brother, now immortal but trapped in an old man's body. Karas is eventually shot after he rescues Ilona; she refuses to take the fake passport to start a new life, wanting to live forever with her discovery. Karas is then forced to shoot her with Dellenbach watching on CCTV cameras.
As Karas is mortally injured from his gunshot wound, he imagines himself apologizing to Bislane for killing her sister, for which she forgives him. It then cuts to Jonas's little brother now living as a tramp, throwing his picture of him and his brother together in a burning bin. The last scene shows an advert for Avalon with an old woman becoming young again saying, "With Avalon, I know I'm beautiful and I'm going to stay that way."
French cast 
- Patrick Floersheim as Barthélémy Karas
- Laura Blanc as Bislane Tasuiev
- Virginie Mery as Ilona Tasuiev
- Gabriel Le Doze as Paul Dellenbach
- Marc Cassot as Jonas Muller
- Rick Warden as Amiel
- Bruno Choel as Pierre Amiel
- Marc Alfos as Nustrat Farfella
- Chris Bearne as Multiple
- Lachele Carl as Nora
- Radica Jovicic as Woman Hostage
- Breffni McKenna as Dmitri
English cast 
- Daniel Craig as Barthélémy Karas
- Catherine McCormack as Bislane Tasuiev
- Romola Garai as Ilona Tasuiev
- Jonathan Pryce as Paul Dellenbach
- Jerome Causse as Amiel & Dmitri
- Ian Holm as Jonas Muller
- Kevork Malikyan as Nusrat Farfella
- Pax Baldwin as Farfella Boy
- Wayne Forrester as Administrator
- Julian Nest as Parisien
- Sean Pertwee as Montoya
- Jessica Reavis as Multiple
- Nina Sosanya as Reparez
- Leslie Woodhall as Elderly Man
The producers used motion capture and computer graphics to create the film's unique look. The cast performed their scenes in motion-capture suits in front of a blue screen. Computer animators translated these animations to digital models used for the characters. The animated characters were placed in three-dimensional computer backdrops, with post-process effects added to achieve the film's final look.
French automaker Citroën designed a car specially for the film, imagining what a Citroën might look like in 2054. Volckman initially wanted Karas to drive a Citroën DS and approached the company for permission to use it in the film. Citroën suggested the filmmakers work with their designers to design a new car. The final design was produced after three months.
The film cost €14 million to make over six years. It was funded by Disney with US$3 million provided from Miramax.
Critical reception 
The film received mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 47% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 73 reviews. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 57 out of 100, based on 17 reviews.
The film was honored at the 5th Festival of European Animated Feature Films and TV Specials where it was awarded the prize for Best Feature Film.
Box office 
See also 
- "Citroën creates a car for 2054" (Press release). Citroën. 7 March 2006. Archived from the original on 13 April 2008. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
- "Renaissance Movie Reviews, Pictures – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
- "Renaissance (2006): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
- KAFF 2007 Díjak (English: "KAFF 2007 Awards"). Kecskeméti Animáció Film Fesztivál. 2007.
- "Renaissance (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
- "Renaissance (2006) – International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
- Renaissance at the Internet Movie Database
- Renaissance at AllRovi
- Renaissance at Rotten Tomatoes
- Renaissance at Metacritic
- Renaissance at Box Office Mojo