Somerset, October 2014. When Clover Catto (Ellie Kendrick) receives a call telling her that her younger brother Harry (Joe Blakemore) is dead, she must return to her family farm and face ... See full summary »
Hope Dickson Leach
While both participating in a production of "Death of a Salesman," a teacher's wife is assaulted in her new home, which leaves him determined to find the perpetrator over his wife's traumatized objections.
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
Courgette (Zucchini) is an intriguing nickname for a 9-year-old boy. Although his unique story is surprisingly universal. After his mother's disappearance, Courgette is befriended by a police officer Raymond, who accompanies him to his new foster home filled with other orphans his age. At first he struggles to find his place in this strange, at times, hostile environment. Yet with Raymond's help and his new-found friends, Courgette eventually learns to trust and might find true love.
A story of caring and sentiment without being sentimental.
"Many people, for many reasons, feel rootless - but orphans and abandoned or abused children have particular cause." Christina Baker Kline
Stories about orphans such as Dickens' Oliver Twist have a special place--they remind us of what a gift family is. Having loving parents and siblings provides safe haven from hunger of the stomach and the heart. Claude Barras' moving stop- motion animation, My Life as a Zucchini, explores the plight of seven young orphans with emphasis on Zucchini, a name given to him by his drunken mother.
As he goes off to an orphanage, he discovers more challenges than being with his mom, whose memory he keeps by carrying around one of her discarded beer cans. The usual bully (Simon) is in residence along with some meek kids and with Camille, a saucy ten year old ready to take on Simon's cynicism and Zucchini's love.
As you can tell by the entrance of Camille, all is not lost at this homeless haven, much less the emerging sense of cooperation and compassion. The film gently approaches each major crisis with equanimity, relying not on easy solutions or catastrophes but on the emerging sense of cooperation and sincere love.
It's difficult to determine what makes this animation so human with its characters and their eccentricities; all I know is that I felt deeply about each orphan right down to the wicked aunt. It's not sentimental, mind you, just powerfully humane and deserving its Oscar nomination for best animation.
Could it be the Keane-like big eyes, so expressively alive with emotion? Possibly so. At any rate, this animation will appeal to all ages and answer some age-old questions about the depth of loneliness and the salvation adoption can bring.
"Orphanages are the only places that ever left me feeling empty and full at the same time." John M. Simmons
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