‘Petite Maman’ review: The best family movie you’ll see in a while

Identical twin sisters play a pair of mysterious playmates in Petite Maman, an enchanting film that achieves an emotional depth that eludes many movies twice its length.

Source: ‘Petite Maman’ review: The best family movie you’ll see in a while : NPR

The writer and director Céline Sciamma makes beautiful movies about girls and young women navigating the complexities of gender and sexual identity. You can tell as much from their titles: TomboyGirlhoodPortrait of a Lady on Fire.

Her wonderful new film, Petite Maman, is no less focused on the inner lives of its female characters. But it’s also something of a departure: This is Sciamma’s first work to earn a PG rating, and it’s both the best family movie and the best movie about a family that I’ve seen in some time.

It tells the gently surreal story of Nelly, an 8-year-old girl played by the remarkable young Joséphine Sanz, who has long brown hair and a sharp, perceptive gaze. Nelly’s just lost her maternal grandmother after a long illness. Now, she watches as her parents go about the solemn task of packing up Grandma’s house — the very house where Nelly’s mother, Marion, grew up years earlier. To pass the time, Nelly plays in the woods surrounding the house. It’s there that she meets another 8-year-old girl, who also happens to be named Marion. She’s played by Gabrielle Sanz, Joséphine’s identical twin sister.

This eerie encounter naturally raises a lot of questions: Who is Marion, and why does she look so much like Nelly? Is this forest the backdrop for a modern-day fairy tale, or have we slipped through a hole in the space-time continuum? Sciamma is in no hurry to provide the answers. The title Petite Maman — which translates literally as “Little Mom” — provides a bit of a clue. But one of the pleasures of this movie is the way it casually introduces a series of strange events as if there were nothing strange about them at all.

At times the movie feels like a live-action version of Hayao Miyazaki’s anime fantasies like Ponyo or My Neighbor Totoro: full of childlike wonderment, but also very matter-of-fact in its approach to magic. Rather than being puzzled by the situation, Nelly and Marion simply accept it and become fast friends. You accept it, too, mainly because the Sanz sisters have such a sweet and funny rapport onscreen.

Sciamma’s camera follows the girls as they run around the woods, gathering leaves and branches to build a hut. Eventually Marion invites Nelly over to her house, which looks an awful lot like Nelly’s grandmother’s house. There, the girls giggle as they cook up a messy pancake breakfast and act out a hilariously elaborate murder mystery. Few recent movies have so effortlessly captured the joy and creativity of children at play.

Petite Maman itself plays a kind of game with the audience, and you figure out the rules as you watch. You learn to tell the girls apart based on slight differences in hairstyle and the colors that they wear. You also get to know a few of the adult characters hovering on the periphery: At one point, Nelly introduces her father to her new best friend, and if he thinks there’s anything weird about this, he doesn’t show it. Meanwhile, Nelly’s mother — the older Marion — has temporarily left the house, needing some time to herself to grieve her mother’s death.

And without a hint of didacticism, Petite Maman reveals itself as very much a movie about grief, about how a child learns to cope with sudden loss and inevitable change. It’s also about how hard it is to really know who your parents were before they became your parents. But in this movie, Nelly gets the rare chance to see or perhaps imagine her mother as the sweet, sensitive, independent-minded young girl she used to be.

Although Petite Maman is decidedly different from Sciamma’s art-house touchstone Portrait of a Lady on Fire, they’re structured in similar ways: In both films, two female characters are granted a brief, even utopian retreat from the outside world and something mysterious and beautiful transpires. If that’s not enough of an enticement, you should know that Petite Maman runs a tight 72 minutes and achieves an emotional depth that eludes many movies twice its length. It’s funny, sad, full of enchanting possibilities and over far too soon — sort of like childhood itself.

Macron and Le Pen to face off in crucial live TV election debate

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen
Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen

Far-right challenger out to avoid repeat of 2017 ‘failure’ in two-and-a-half hour clash with incumbent

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will go head to head in a live TV debate on Wednesday night that could prove crucial in making up the minds of undecided voters four days before the French presidential runoff.

The high-stakes, two-and-a-half-hour confrontation, the only direct clash between the two candidates, has been a tradition of French presidential campaigns since 1974, often confirming or dashing electoral ambitions.

With recent polls giving Macron a lead of up to 12 points before Sunday’s vote, Le Pen will be keen not to reproduce the poorly prepared, muddled and aggressive performance that sealed her eventual defeat in 2017  [ . . . ]

Continue at source: Macron and Le Pen to face off in crucial live TV election debate | French presidential election 2022 | The Guardian

Musician Tim Dup on upcoming French election

by Tim Dup (translated)

We don’t love it when artists talk about politics, do we? With this being said, we can often thank them for converting their sensitivity to the concrete photograph of a time, to put words, to make them speak, from within, what they look around. I was a little hesitated before writing something in that order. And I am sure, because I know you, that you will be able to do the part of things with my creation, the one you follow me for, but who is still inherently connected to what I will tell you.

Since September, we take the road, every week, to come and meet you. Thousands of miles, different people in every room. All generations. Big cities, mediums, villages, crazy hybridism. Metropolis, small territories, urban areas, countryside, connected or sometimes more isolated. After every concert, it’s an hour and a half of meetings, to a little bit of who we are. Before each concert, there are regular meetings, with colleges, centers, young people, associations, clubs, schools, conservatives, high schools, high schools, impaired public. And all this makes me think that I’m starting to know a bit what France really looks like. And that everywhere, we are great, connected, with the same needs, and often the same desires. We are not that original. Sure, we are different, single, but our lives are quite the same. Even if we don’t have the same chances, that things separate us, we want good for each other. When I look at you, this wonderful audience is everything. There are especially all ages, so I can’t help but think that behind our families, there is a consciousness of tomorrow, the transmission, what we leave, what we build. This sentence transmitted from age to age, that my grandfather told me and you know, is exactly the opposite of the desire. Plant flowers, others will pick them for you.

This is the starting point; I’m relating this sentence: humanity has less than three years to reverse the curve of greenhouse gas emissions, who are responsible for climate change, if it wants to preserve a world livable. It seems little concrete, vertical, very intangible. But yet there it is. A reality. What do we do about it?

If you too have doubt before Sunday, I believe that out of respect for the essence of our existence, living, a small key to voting is to turn to a program that does not take it lightly. And there are only two, such programs.

Regardless of what is in my sense, makes a peaceful society.

Weather. Education. Culture. Health. Sustainable economy. Wake up.

The dam of social sacking, excessive neoliberalism, sufficiency, on one hand; the reproach on oneself, the hatred on the other, the populist and demagogical denial of what the world and this country looks like today, on the other side.

The world’s chaos only tends to multiply, exacerbated by the climate crisis. Migrations, energy tensions, territorial, social crisis, international conflicts, insecurity… In the end, I don’t know much, fundamentally, nor specifically, about these. I receive them, weigh them, understand them, but I’m not an expert, naturally. I’m not looking to teach lessons, I’ll be unable to. The networks are full of noise of opinions, and I have one.

But it seems obvious to me, that the media issues of this election cannot be discussed anyway, if we do not know, at last, that the fight for the living under all the rest. So there you go, I guess the contents of these words are imperfect. But please let’s take a shot of humility and empathy for each other and those around us before this first round. Let’s think about our parents, especially our children. To our humanities, this is what it is about first, because the planet has to do with our existence, it will be fine without us. Giving yourself the right and the duty to care, in every way. A bulletin, a prosecutor’s office, it’s simple, and it’s from our source.

Some thought tips here, that helped me make a decision, because it’s not obvious either, we agree.

On adore pas quand les artistes parlent de politique, n’est-ce pas? Ceci dit, on peut les remercier, souvent, de convertir de leur sensibilité la photographie concrète d’une époque, de mettre des mots, de faire parler, par leur intérieur, de ce qu’ils regardent autour. J’ai un peu hésité avant d’écrire quelque chose de cet ordre là. Et je suis sûr, parce que je vous connais, que vous saurez faire la part des choses avec ma création, celle pour laquelle vous me suivez, mais qui pourtant est intrinsèquement liée à ce je vais vous dire.

Depuis septembre, nous prenons la route, chaque semaine, pour venir à votre rencontre. Des milliers de kilomètres, des gens différents dans chaque salle. Toutes les générations. Des grandes villes, des moyennes, des villages, une hybridité folle. Des métropoles, des petits territoires, des zones urbaines, de campagne, connectées ou parfois plus esseulées. Après chaque concert, c’est une heure et demi de rencontres, à palper un peu qui nous sommes. Avant chaque concert, c’est aussi régulièrement des rencontres, avec des collèges, des centres, des jeunes, des associations, des clubs, des écoles, des conservatoires, des lycées, des publics empêchés. Et tout ceci me permet de penser que je commence un peu à savoir à quoi ressemble vraiment la France. Et que partout, nous sommes formidables, en lien, avec les mêmes besoins, et souvent les mêmes envies. Nous ne sommes pas si originaux. Bien-sûr, nous sommes différents, singuliers, mais nos vies se ressemblent pas mal. Même si nous n’avons pas les mêmes chances, que des choses nous séparent, nous nous voulons du bien. Quand je vous regarde, ce public merveilleux, il y a de tout. Il y a surtout de tous les âges, alors je ne peux m’empêcher de penser que derrière nos familles, existe une conscience de demain, de la transmission, de ce qu’on laisse, ce qu’on construit. Cette phrase transmise d’âge en âge, que mon grand-père m’a dite et que vous connaissez, est à l’exact opposé du dérisoire. Plante des fleurs, les autres les cueilleront pour toi.

Voilà le point de départ; Je relis cette phrase en boucle : l’humanité dispose de moins de trois années pour inverser la courbe des émissions de gaz à effet de serre, principales responsables du changement climatique, si elle veut conserver un monde vivable. Ça paraît peu concret, vertigineux, bien intangible. Mais pourtant c’est là. Une réalité. Qu’en fait-on?

Si vous aussi le doute vous habite avant dimanche, je crois que par respect pour l’essence de nos existences, du vivant, une petite clé pour aller voter est de se tourner vers un programme qui ne prend pas cela à la légère. Et il n’y en a que deux, de tels programmes.

Sans compter ce qui à mon sens, fait société pérenne.

Climat. Éducation. Culture. Santé. Économie soutenable. Éveil.

Le barrage au saccage social, néolibéralisme à outrance, la suffisance, d’un côté; le repli sur soi, la haine de l’autre, le déni populiste et démagogique d’à quoi ressemble aujourd’hui le monde et ce pays, d’un autre côté.

Les désordres du monde ne tendent qu’à se multiplier, exacerbés par la crise climatique. Migrations, tensions énergétiques, territoriales, crise sociale, conflits internationaux, insécurité… Je ne connais finalement pas grand chose, fondamentalement, ni précisément, à ces sujets. Je les reçois, les pèse, les comprends, mais n’en suis pas expert, naturellement. Je ne cherche pas à donner de leçons, j’en serais incapable. Les réseaux se chargent du bruit des opinions, et j’en ai une.

Mais il me paraît évident, que les enjeux médiatisés de ces élections ne pourront de toute façon être discutés, si l’on ne saisit pas, enfin, que la lutte pour le vivant sous-tend tout le reste. Alors voilà, j’imagine que la teneur de ces mots est imparfaite. Mais s’il nous plaît, reprenons un shot d’humilité et d’empathie pour l’autre et ce qui nous entoure avant ce premier tour. Repensons à nos parents, et surtout à nos enfants. À nos humanités, c’est de ça dont il s’agit d’abord, car la planète n’a que faire de notre existence, elle s’en démerdera bien sans nous. Se donner le droit et le devoir de prendre soin, à tous les égards. Un bulletin, une procuration, c’est simple, et c’est de notre ressort.

Quelques pistes de réflexion ici, qui m’ont aidé à prendre une décision, car elle n’est pas évidente non plus, nous sommes d’accord.