Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
The Sydney Film Festival is wrapped up for 2019! Click here to check out our must-see films with the SWITCH team's reviews.x
review, My Life As A Zucchini, My, Life, As, A, Zucchini, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Gaspard Schlatter, Sixtine Murat, Paulin Jaccoud, Michel Vuillermoz, Raul Ribera, Estelle Hennard, Elliot Sanchez, Lou Wick, Brigitte Rosset, Natacha Koutchoumov, Claude Barras, Animation film rating

MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI

★★★★

A REFRESHING ANIMATION

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
26th June 2017

I doubt I was the only person who was absolutely gutted when Walt Disney’s loud, obnoxious ‘Zootopia’ steamrolled the elegiac ‘The Red Turtle’ (co-produced by Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli) and ‘My Life as a Zucchini’ for the Best Animated Feature Film at the 89th Academy Awards.

Thank goodness for the film distribution companies that ensure that smaller animated films like ‘When Marnie Was There’, ‘Ernest & Celestine’, ‘The Secret of Kells’, ‘Phantom Boy’, ‘Window Horses’ and ‘My Life as a Zucchini’ are seen in Australia. Give praise again to directors like Claude Barras, who are a vital breath of fresh air in a creative category stifled by endless computer-animated products churned out by the Pixar and Walt Disney machines.

'MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI' TRAILER

French screenwriter Céline Sciamma (‘Tomboy’, ‘Girlhood’) has adapted the 2002 novel ‘Autobiography of a Courgette’ by Gilles Paris for this amazing stop-motion animation; with Swiss director Barras making his feature debut.

The story of a nine-year-old orphan named Courgette - French for zucchini - who's sent to a group home after the death of his alcoholic mother, we learn that the blue-haired kid accidentally killed her during one of the matriarch's drunken tantrums.

All is not hopeless for Courgette, though. A cop named Raymond shows him kindness, as does a new girl named Camille. Even the red-haired school bully Simon forges a hard-won connection. "There's nobody left to love us," he says in a moment of quiet, fleeting realisation. Simon matter-of-factly details to Courgette the troubled circumstances of the other orphans, who each respond to their trauma in various ways; Simon is angry, Ahmed wets the bed, Alice is shy. Simon’s bluntness when he tells these stories subtly underlines the fact that these children are not shocked by violence anymore. The film does not dwell on the drama of child abuse itself, but rather with the people living in its shadow.

‘My Life as a Zucchini’ is a film wholeheartedly suitable for children even though so many of its pleasures lie in an appeal to adults and their understanding of pre-teen melancholy.

‘My Life as a Zucchini’ is a film wholeheartedly suitable for children even though so many of its pleasures lie in an appeal to adults and their understanding of pre-teen melancholy. The film engages with difficult and painful topics such as mortality, child abuse, alcoholism and trauma. Yet far from revelling in misery and testing the limits of the bearable, it instead explores the constructive ways kids can deal with the terrible situations thrust upon them.

While the 66-minute feature superficially resembles a certain strain of preschool programming in its visual style, Barras’ stylised stop-motion sets it apart from the glut of CG Pixar cartoon shit, taking its time where digital animation so often tends to be hyperkinetic. The animated characters, most with elongated bodies and pasty ping-pong heads with huge eyes, are beautifully realised.

‘My Life as Zucchini’ never sacrifices what’s true for what’s trite and easier to sell. This truly is animation as art.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 06/07/2017
RUN TIME: 1h 7m
CAST: Gaspard Schlatter
Sixtine Murat
Paulin Jaccoud
Michel Vuillermoz
Raul Ribera
Estelle Hennard
Elliot Sanchez
Lou Wick
Brigitte Rosset
Natacha Koutchoumov
DIRECTOR: Claude Barras
PRODUCERS: Marc Bonny
Armelle Glorennec
Pauline Gygax
Max Karli
Kate Merkt
Michel Merkt
maviedecourgette
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
Yesterday - A new British comedy with a little help from The Beatles
TRENDINGWIN YESTERDAYA new British comedy with a little help from The Beatles
My Big Gay Italian Wedding - A ridiculously fun love story
TRENDINGMY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDINGA ridiculously fun love story
Claire Darling - A French film fail
TRENDINGCLAIRE DARLINGA French film fail
Standing Up For Sunny - A comedy without the comedy but very sweet
TRENDINGSTANDING UP FOR SUNNYA comedy without the comedy but very sweet
The Final Quarter - Tackling a shameful chapter in AFL history
TRENDINGTHE FINAL QUARTERTackling a shameful chapter in AFL history
Parasite - A bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
TRENDINGPARASITEA bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
Back of the Net - Misses the net, and then some
TRENDINGBACK OF THE NETMisses the net, and then some
The Dead Don't Die - A zombie comedy that's anything but grave
TRENDINGTHE DEAD DON'T DIEA zombie comedy that's anything but grave
The Nightingale - A blunt and brutal period piece
TRENDINGTHE NIGHTINGALEA blunt and brutal period piece
Never Look Away - An artistic and spiritual epic
TRENDINGNEVER LOOK AWAYAn artistic and spiritual epic
Saturday Afternoon - A shocking and abrasive assessment of terrorism
TRENDINGSATURDAY AFTERNOONA shocking and abrasive assessment of terrorism
Tolkien - 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Hobbit' fans, this one's for you
TRENDINGTOLKIEN'Lord of the Rings' and 'Hobbit' fans, this one's for you
2040 - A hopeful look into our environmental future
TRENDING2040A hopeful look into our environmental future
The Third Wife - Artistic, painful and beautiful
TRENDINGTHE THIRD WIFEArtistic, painful and beautiful
Men in Black: International - Wish we could memory wipe this one
TRENDINGMEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONALWish we could memory wipe this one
The Secret Life of Pets 2 - Crowd-pleasingly generic... again
TRENDINGTHE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2Crowd-pleasingly generic... again
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir - An endearing tale of destiny
TRENDINGTHE EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY OF THE FAKIRAn endearing tale of destiny
Holiday - A sun-kissed and extremely brutal sociological thriller
TRENDINGHOLIDAYA sun-kissed and extremely brutal sociological thriller
What Doesn't Kill Us - A touching drama for romantics
TRENDINGWHAT DOESN'T KILL USA touching drama for romantics
My Name is Daniel - A step forward for disability representation
TRENDINGMY NAME IS DANIELA step forward for disability representation
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us