A classic odyssey set in a bleak yet magical half real/half fantasy realm wherein the people create (and have created) personal and shared mythologies to cope with the world. The audience is often set adrift during the journey, left to their own devices to decide how the pieces fit together – or to just accept not knowing everything. I suspect that quite a number of the people who are drawn to the film will find the small, particular myths charmingly quaint and naive while embracing other, broader myths with the credulousness only the intellectually arrogant can muster.
The performances are strong, grounded, and very specific, helping to pull us deeply into the world of the film. The movie undermines the audiences immersion toward the end with a scene of the mythical creatures which did not mesh visually with the rest of the film.