When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno team up with the Belleville Sisters--an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire--to rescue him.
In a story depicted in oil painted animation, a young man comes to the last hometown of painter Vincent van Gogh to deliver the troubled artist's final letter and ends up investigating his final days there.
It's 1941 but France is trapped in the nineteenth century, governed by steam and Napoleon V, where scientists vanish mysteriously. Avril (Marion Cotillard), a teenage girl, goes in search of her missing scientist parents.
Set in Hiroshima during World War II, an eighteen-year-old girl gets married and now has to prepare food for her family despite the rationing and lack of supplies. As she struggles with the... See full summary »
Courgette (Zucchini) is an intriguing nickname for a 9-year-old boy. Although his unique story is surprisingly universal. After his mother's disappearance, Courgette is befriended by a police officer Raymond, who accompanies him to his new foster home filled with other orphans his age. At first he struggles to find his place in this strange, at times, hostile environment. Yet with Raymond's help and his new-found friends, Courgette eventually learns to trust and might find true love.
"My Life as a Courgette" is such a simple story and simplicity really is the film's greatest strength. There is no flamboyant animation, no huge narrative arc, no gargantuan obstacles to somersault over, no chaotic chase sequences, no loud, yappy dialogue...basically nothing like what you might expect if this same story was told by an American studio.
At 66 mins, it's short and to the point, quiet, contemplative and starkly sad, yet filled with uplifting moments of hope and tenderness, which it conveys without ever feeling contrived or overly- sentimental.
The young French voice cast are terrific (I do hope anyone reading this review watches the French version and not the American dub). They do well to convey the vulnerability behind the broken characters. That, and I think some of the lines just sound so much better in French - the way the brattish Simon spits out the word "potet" was particularly amusing to me.
The animation is rather basic and the character's faces are not hugely expressive, but enough emotion is conveyed through body posing, vocal performance and composition that you would need a heart of stone not to feel for the young gang of misfits.
By the time the bitter-sweet end credits song kicked in, I was noticing a little moisture in the corner of my eye. Not sure the kids in the audience enjoyed it as much as I did though....which is an important point really. This film is NOT intended for young children. It deals with adult themes like death, neglect and abuse, in a very delicate way mind, but still, it's not something that's going to entertain the 'fidget spinner' generation.
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