‘Petite Maman’ – A perfect Mother’s Day movie

“Petite Maman” (2021) – Celine Sciamma’s modern-day fantasy begins with a loss.  Off-camera, eight-year-old Nelly’s (Josephine Sanz) grandmother passes away.  Nelly, her mom (Nina Meurisse), and her dad (Stephane Varupenne) travel to the late woman’s home to sift through belongings and settle customary affairs.  However, misfortune morphs into magic on the following day, when Nelly meets a new and noteworthy friend, Marion (Gabrielle Sanz), to distract her from yesterday’s sorrow.  In just 73 precious minutes, Sciamma opens a cinematic door, holds our hands, and leads us to a world with an impossible and mesmerizing connection between two kids.  (The movie’s secret is in its title.)  Rather than concoct grandiose set pieces, Sciamma grounds her picture with tender steps and everyday happenings, like making breakfast, building a fort in the woods, gentle discourse, and hugs between a parent and a child.  Every moment in this movie is endearing, and as the 2nd and 3rd Acts layer into surreal spaces, Josephine and Gabrielle completely sell the film’s premise.  “Petite Maman” might be the sweetest film I’ve ever seen.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Petite Maman” is currently playing in U.S. theatres.

Written and directed by: Celine Sciamma

Starring: Josephine Sanz, Gabrielle Sanz, Nina Meurisse, Stephane Varupenne, and Margot Abascal

Runtime: 73 minutes

Rated: PG

Image credits: Pyramide Distribution

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