Petite Maman

By September 12, 2022Uncategorised

Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Petite Maman, France 2021
Location: SilverCity
Showtimes: 6:30 & 8:30 pm

Director: Céline Sciamma
Cast: Joséphine Sanz, Gabrielle Sanz, Nina Meurisse, Stéphane Varupenne
Running time: 72 minutes
Language: French with English subtitles

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, Best Film not in English Language; Mar Del Plata Film Festival: Best Cinematography; Special Mention, Céline Sciamma; Film by the Sea International Film Festival: Best French Language Film; 4 other wins, 30 nominations.

“Céline Sciamma’s beautiful fairytale reverie is occasioned by the dual mysteries of memory and the future: simple, elegant and very moving. I fell instantly under its spell.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Following up on the acclaim of her previous film, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, writer-director Céline Sciamma returns with this delicate and dreamlike coming-of-age story about childhood grief and longing.

After her grandmother dies, eight-year-old Nelly (Joséphine Sanz) is taken to her mother’s childhood home. While her parents go about cleaning out the house, Nelly explores the surrounding woods. She encounters Marion (real-life sister Gabrielle Sanz), a girl exactly Nelly’s age and to whom she bears a striking resemblance.

The pair become fast friends, constructing a hut together, sharing lunches, and talking over the life transitions they are facing. (Marion is only days away from going to hospital for an operation.)

Incrementally, the girls’ eerie similarities yield revelations that merge events of the past with those of the present.

Working once again with cinematographer Claire Mathon and production designer Lionel Brison, Sciamma gently ushers us into a series of hushed, twilight spaces where the spectral meets the everyday and time seems to fold in on itself.

Drawing lovely, subtle performances from her young stars, Sciamma allows us to see the world through Nelly and Marion’s eyes. What emerges is the girls’ deep yearning for connection, compassion, and understanding.

The result is a film of tremendous tenderness and sombre beauty that, like all of Sciamma’s films, celebrates the spectrum of feminine connection.

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