There’s a painting. To a degree, it’s unfinished. But there are some characters in it that are finished (called, appropriately enough, Alldunns), some that aren’t quite finished (Halfies) and others that are just sketched out (Sketchies).

The Alldunns are all for segregation. They live in the painting’s castle and demand the Halfies live in the garden below. The Sketchies aren’t allowed anywhere, and if they’re caught, they’re killed. Life changes for everyone when an Alldunn and a Halfie fall in love, and they, along with a Halfie friend and Sketchy, set off to find the painter to finish them and make them all equal.

What starts as a stale story of inequality is brightened up when the characters leave their painting and hop into others. At turns, the tale is funny, tragic, existential and even a little scary. Plus, there are fun nods to various styles of painting and art, and a few of the masters here and there, too.

How does it all shake out? A little differently than what you’d expect, and The Painting's final few moments touch on the nature of life, art and what it means to be alive. Its ideas aren’t so deep, but they’re done so charmingly, it goes down easy.


Directed by Jean-François Laguionie

With Kamali Minter, Michael Sinterniklaas, and Eden Riegel

CCA Cinematheque

78 min.