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1 item from 2004

The Butterfly

9 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

First Run Features

NEW YORK -- Formulaic plot elements don't greatly hamper the impact of this French charmer about the relationship that develops between an elderly widower and the 8-year-old neighbor girl whose mother neglects her. Michel Serrault's typically expert performance and writer-director Philippe Muyl's ability to avoid the usual cliches in his execution of the tale give "The Butterfly" an undeniable appeal. Perfect holiday entertainment, albeit for those Small Fry who can read English subtitles, the film opened Friday at New York's Cinema Village.

Julien (Serrault) is an elderly entomologist living alone in his spacious apartment with only his cat and extensive butterfly collection for company. His next door neighbors are 8-year-old Elsa (Claire Bouanich) and her mother, Isabelle (Nade Dieu), the latter a single working mom who has little time for her little girl. When Julien sets out on a country excursion in search of an elusive butterfly whose life span is only a few days and who appears only one week out of the year, Elsa, as children in these sorts of movies are likely to do, hides out in his car. By the time the flustered Julien realizes that he has a stowaway, he's too far away to turn around and so reluctantly agrees to let her tag along. With Julien's cell phone not working, the inevitable complications ensue, with the police searching for the missing girl even as she learns life lessons from her gruff companion.

While it seems reminiscent of countless earlier efforts featuring the same themes, "Butterfly" manages to find fresh dimensions thanks to its smart and frequently amusing screenplay, its multidimensional characterizations and its refreshing lack of sentimentality. Julien is not the standard grumpy senior, Elsa is far less cutesy than the usual movie moppet, and the relationship that develops between the two has a genuineness of feeling that is ultimately quite moving. chair as one of Damian's intended victims, the viewer can certainly sympathize.

The Hebrew Hammer

Strand Releasing

A Strand Releasing and ContentFilm presentation

A film by Jonathan Kesselman


Director-screenwriter: Jonathan Kesselman

Producers: Josh Kesselman, Sofia Sondervan, Lisa Fragner

Executive producers: Edward R. Pressman, John Schmidt

Director of photography: Kurt Brabbee

Production designer: Cabot McMullan

Editor: Dean Holland

Costume designers: Alysia Raycraft, Michelle Phillips

Music: Michael Cohen


Mordechai Jefferson Carver: Adam Goldberg

Esther: Judy Greer

Santa Damian: Andy Dick

Mohammed: Mario Van Peebles

J.J.L. Chief: Peter Coyote

Tiny Tim: Sean Whalen

Jamal: Tony Cox

Mrs. Carver: Nora Dunn

Running time -- 85 minutes

MPAA rating: R Frame 312

Presented by the Atlantic Theater Company


Playwright: Keith Reddin

Director: Karen Kohlhaas

Set designer: Walt Spangler

Costume designer: Mimi O'Donnell

Lighting designer: Robert Perry

Sound designer: Scott Myers


Lynette (1990s): Mary Beth Peil

Stephanie: Elizabeth Hanly Rice

Tom/Roy/Agent Barry/Conductor: Greg Stuhr

Margie/Marie/Doris: Maggie Kiley

Graham: Larry Bryggman

Lynette (1960s): Mandy Siegfriedcers: Marc Platt, Andre Harrell

Executive producer: Billy Higgins

Director of photography: John R. Leonetti

Production designer: Jasna Stefanovich

Music: Mervyn Warren

Costume designer: Susan Matheson

Editors: Mark Helfrich, Emma E. Hickox


Honey Daniels: Jessica Alba

Chaz: Mekhi Phifer

Benny: Lil' Romeo

Gina: Joy Bryant

Michael Ellis: David Moscow

Mrs. Daniels: Lonette McKee

Raymond: Zachary Isaiah Williams

Katrina: Laurie Ann Gibson

As themselves: Missy Elliott, Jadakiss & Sheek, Shawn Desman, Ginuwine, Harmonica Sunbeam, Rodney Jerkins, Silkk, 3rd Storee, Tweet

Running time -- 94 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13>Emma: Dina Waters

Michael: Marc John Jefferies

Megan: Aree Davis

Running time -- 88 minutes

MPAA rating: PG »

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2004 | 2003

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