My Life As A Courgette

****

Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

My Life As A Courgette
"It is the attention to detail and character building by Barras and Sciamma which gives substance to the slender tale."

Based on Autobiography Of A Zucchini by French novelist Gilles Paris this stop-motion animation has garnered something of a reputation on the festivals circuit. It has also been nominated as the Swiss entry for Best Foreign Language Film in the Oscars and has cropped up on several other awards short lists.

The enchanting fable marks the debut feature of Swiss director Claude Barras, who involved the talented Céline Sciamma (writer-director of Girlhood and Tomboy) to help adapt the book for the big screen.

Copy picture

This was a wise decision because all her films (including her collaboration with André Techiné on Being 17) deal with youngsters on the cusp of adulthood, their coming of age dilemmas and search for a true sense of identity.

This is no exception. After his mother’s sudden death, Zucchini (voiced by Gaspard Schlatter) who accidentally caused her demise, is befriended by a kind police officer Raymond (Michel Vuillermoz), who takes him to a group home.

At first Zucchini finds it difficult to adapt alongside all the other orphans. But, in the way of good children's animation, it isn't too long before he starts to slot right in, learning something about himself along the way.

His new-found friends include the boisterous leader, Simon (Paulin Jaccoud); quiet, dinosaur fan Ahmed (Elliot Sanchez); football-crazy, straight-talking Camille (Sixtine Murat) and Alice (Estelle Hennard), who is so shy, she spends most of the movie peeping out from behind her veil of hair.

Although some of their adventures, notably a trip to the mountains, may not seem hugely original it is the attention to detail and character building by Barras and Sciamma which gives substance to the slender tale.

Reviewed on: 11 Jan 2017
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Stop-motion story of a boy, who is sent to a group home for orphans after the death of his mum.

Director: Claude Barras

Writer: Gilles Paris, Morgan Navarro, Céline Sciamma, Germano Zullo

Starring: Voices of: Michel Vuillermoz, Natacha Koutchoumov, Paulin Jaccoud, Brigitte Rosset, Adrien Barazzone, Véronique Montel, Monica Budde, Anne-Laure Brasey, Estelle Hennard, Jean-Claude Issenmann, Sixtine Murat, Raul Ribera, Elliot Sanchez, Gaspard Schlatter, Lou Wick

Year: 2016

Runtime: 66 minutes

Country: Switzerland, France


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