Riding her bicycle on her way to school, a dreamy, ten-year-old, red-haired farm girl decides to take a shortcut through a ruddy and luscious autumn forest, somewhere in the mountainous region of eastern France. Unexpectedly, the young girl encounters a bright-eyed red fox, however, the untamed wild animal flees in an instant, leaving her longing to meet again. Since then, a whole winter has passed and still no sign of the elusive fox, but with the arrival of spring, the girl determined to find the animal, finally locates its den and an ambitious effort to grow accustomed to each other begins. As we witness a succession of compelling scenes, lost inside the enchanting and breathlessly exquisite landscape, we observe the bond between a human and a savage animal grow gradually stronger, yet, a wish and question emerge. If only we, humans, could talk to the wild beasts, and if we could, could we ever become friends? Written by
Actually, ten foxes were used as "le renard": Titus, Max, Tango, Bandit, Peche, Ziza, Chepper, Swannie, Scott, and Sally. See more »
When the girl is lying in front of the fox, the close-up shows them within nose distance. She raises her arm to stroke it, and in the next medium shot it is suddenly at an arm's length distance. See more »
The very first image of the movie shows a mountain ridge in early morning autumn mist, and my thought was: "This is almost too beautiful." And it goes on like this: Images of landscape and animals that look like a series of romantic paintings, each of them perfect in every detail. Even the girl's room, her father's car - everything is nostalgic, romantic, beautiful. This could seem outdated and escapistic, but it fits a story that is itself of silent beauty, happening on the border between life and fairy tale, between Dian Fossey and Le Petit Prince. I enjoyed every minute of it. The extreme parsimony of the movie, having a simple, slow story, just one actor and hardly any special effects, exerted a strong magic. I therefore find it deplorable that this parsimony is given up in the last minutes, when suddenly two additional actors (the girl as a grown-up woman, and her son) are introduced. Another shortcoming is the music, which is often intrusive, Hollywood-like, and sometimes inappropriate: I couldn't bring an English pop-song together with French mountain glory. I went to the movie together with my two small daughters, but I recommend it to adults as well, given that they appreciate this kind of movie. Obviously, not everybody does.
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