Luca, on paper, is a movie made for me, being Italian-centered, Ghibli-influenced, and Fellini deferential. But maybe Pixar’s run out of gas. Little here worked for me. Weird! I know!
The best recommendation I can give for Luca is this: It’s animated beautifully. There’s a texture to the movie that I don’t see in most Pixar movies, even their best ones, and for me, that quality goes a long way toward softening the edges around the parts that don’t gel. There’s nothing at stake here. There’s not much of a story. I couldn’t tell you if adding another 10 minutes would have helped, but the movie doesn’t give itself enough of a hand grip to hold onto.
You can read my review for Paste Magazine.