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  • Gareth Crook

Petite Maman (2021) - 10/10

Watch this one with a box of tissues. A big one. Nelly (Joséphine Sanz) has lost her grandma. Saying goodbye at the nursing home, it’s a solemn start, but I swear if you’re not also smiling within 5 minutes, check your pulse. Staying with her mother and father in the old family home in the French countryside, as they clear the place. It’s autumnal, reflective, melancholic. The house although sparse looking, is full of memories for mum, and exciting discoveries for Nelly. Most notably Marion (Gabrielle Sanz, yes related), who she meets building a hut out of branches in the woods around the house. Marion isn’t just any girl. She’s special. She’s magical. Giving Nelly an insight to help her grieve and find out things about herself. It’s wonderful. Truly. Both the girls are fantastic on screen and the whole thing looks calmly beautiful. Nelly knows something isn’t quite right, but it’s not eerie, it’s rated U after all. It doesn’t dumb things down for a younger audience either though. It’s intelligent, sophisticated, perfectly paced. I won’t say any more than that. Director Céline Sciamma has created something quite fantastic. With a final scene that left me smiling through the tears.



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