More delightful than Procatinator and a greater tribute to the power of print journalism than Page One: Inside the New York Times, Miss Minoes centers on a cat who becomes a lady and, with the help of her feline pals, an assistant to a shy, struggling reporter. Vincent Bal’s film, based on a 1970 book by Dutch children’s author Annie M.G. Schmidt and released in the Netherlands in 2001, receives a belated U.S. run in a dubbed version, its actors—kitties and humans both—now speaking plummy British English. Carice van Houten, five years away from her breakthrough role in Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book, plays the title role, “still a cat but in the wrong body.” In exchange for a bed (a cardboard box in her host’s garret) and board (lots of fish), Miss Minoes passes news tips gathered from rooftop meetings of the Cat Press Service to Tibbe (Theo Maassen), who writes a front-page exposé about the chair of the Pet Lovers’ Association. Conveying, with a light touch, important lessons for kids on the necessity of civic engagement, the perils of edit-ad conflicts, and the need to honor difference, Miss Minoes is also an ailurophile’s dream, featuring a fantastic array of tabbies, calicos, and Birmans that always hit their marks.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 21, 2011