SUMMARY: When ten year old Rupert has his heart broken for the first time, he casts a magic spell to place himself inside a safe, impenetrable bubble.
WHY IT’S HERE: Irish director Kealan O’Rourke’s ‘The Boy in the Bubble’ is a vaguely Gothic fairy tale which seems very much inspired by Tim Burton’s ‘Vincent’. Although I’m always wary of falling into the trap of supposing anything remotely dark to have been influenced by Burton, in the case of ‘The Boy in the Bubble’ the influence seems clear, particularly in the poetic narration, wonderfully intoned by the late Alan Rickman. Another clear influence here is vintage horror films, and while the story itself largely avoids horror trappings in favour of fantasy, O’Rourke makes several references to the genre through his protagonists love for it. Ultimately, ‘The Boy in the Bubble’ pitches itself as an outsider fantasy-romance but its optimistic conclusion, though philosophically simplistic, sets it apart from its darker counterparts and makes it suitable viewing for children of any age.