The Butterfly (I) (2002)
"Le papillon" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,359 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 14 user | 25 critic | 11 from

The plot summary says that the old man seeks a particular butterfly because of the request of his brother. Having just seen the movie, two of us are certain that it was his son, not his brother.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Claire Bouanich ...
Nade Dieu ...
Jacques Bouanich ...
Sébastien's Father
Jerry Lucas ...
Amie d'Isabelle
Gérald Maillet ...
Françoise Dubois ...
Femme de la cabine téléphonique
Cafe Waitress
Hélène Hily ...
Marguerite, the Concierge
Idwig Stephane ...
Fabien Béhar
Pierre Poirot ...
Police Commissioner
Magali Bonat ...
Vendeuse magasin de sport
Francis Frappat ...


This is the story of a young girl named Elsa who was raised by a single mother (Isabelle) in the city. Isabelle and Elsa begin the film moving in next door to an elderly man who collects butterflies (Julien). Isabelle who "spends a lot of time with her friends" does not pay much attention to her daughter who walks home because her mother forgot to pick her up from school. After meeting her new neighbor, Elsa finds out about the butterflies and in short annoys Julien for a while. Julien receives a mystery package from a fellow entomologist. Julien sets out on his annual attempt to find a rare species of butterfly that he had once promised his son he would find (son dead) in the French country side, specifically a region known as Vercors. Elsa stows away in his car. After being discovered she convinces him to let her come to Vercors with him. They bond while hiking and camping until Julien, who is initially annoyed by Elsa, near the end of the film seems to have a ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

18 December 2002 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Butterfly  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,906 (USA) (19 December 2003)


$38,438 (USA) (30 July 2004)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Visa d'exploitation 105.285 See more »


L'Hymne A L'Amour
Lyrics by Édith Piaf
Composed by Marguerite Monnot
© Editions Raoul Breton
See more »

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User Reviews

They still make great movies!
29 January 2006 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

This movie is just what movies are supposed to be about, about people, their interaction, the way they evolve as a result... life. Add to that great dialogue, good acting and a great photography and you got a movie that should be on the top 20 list of anyone looking for real movies.

The fact that the underlying storyline has already been brought several times to the big screen, with the same dexterity or not, does not detract from the fact that this film combines all its elements in a mix that positions it above the crowd. Serrault's movies might not all have been of this quality, but in recent years he has certainly managed to bring us several movies where the humane aspect of his characters prevail.

Do not start looking for logical explanations for certain elements of the movie, do not psychoanalyse it and try to find faults... this movie is just like life itself, sometimes logical, sometimes illogical, often random. Just watch, enjoy and get carried away by the witty dialogue. Despite all the adversities one might encounter, it's those little things - how insignificant they may be - that make it worthwhile and helps everyone become the unique individuals we are.

This is a sincere movie suitable for the whole family that manages to stay out of the tear-jerker or kiddy movie categories. Special mention also for the soundtrack! If you liked this you might also want to check out The Malabar Princess.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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