7.6/10
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Ponette (1996)

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A four-year-old girl tries to come to terms with the sudden death of her mother.

Director:

Jacques Doillon

Writers:

Jacques Doillon, Brune Compagnon (scenario collaborator: for first draft)
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11 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Victoire Thivisol ... Ponette
Delphine Schiltz Delphine Schiltz ... Delphine
Matiaz Bureau Caton Matiaz Bureau Caton ... Matiaz
Léopoldine Serre Léopoldine Serre ... Ada
Marie Trintignant ... La mère
Xavier Beauvois ... Le père
Claire Nebout Claire Nebout ... La tante
Aurélie Vérillon Aurélie Vérillon ... Aurélie
Henri Berthon Henri Berthon ... L'Instituteur
Carla Ibled Carla Ibled ... Carla
Luckie Royer Luckie Royer ... Luce
Antoine du Merle Antoine du Merle ... Antoine
Marianne Favre Marianne Favre ... Marianne
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hadrien Bouvier Hadrien Bouvier ... Extra
Ben Lemaire Ben Lemaire ... Anthony (as Benjamin Lemaire)
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Storyline

An extremely captivating movie on how a little girl copes with her mother's death. She withdraws from all the people around her, waiting for her mother to come back. She tries waiting, and when her mother still doesn't appear, tries magic chants, praying to God, and then becoming a child of God, to have some power over Him. All to no avail. But then, when she is in despair, her mother does come back ... Written by Rahul Dodhia <rdodhia@psych.columbia.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

14 March 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ponette See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,400,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The magic spell the kids say, "Ta'ali Takum", is actually the "Talitha koum" of Jesus. In Mark 5:41, Jesus says the phrase "Talitha koum" (Aramaic for "Little girl, get up") to a dead girl, when he resurrects her. See more »

Goofs

In the cemetery scene, Ponette is shown piling dirt onto her legs as she kneels beside the grave. In the next shot, her legs have no dirt and her pants are clean. See more »

Quotes

Matiaz: Ponette's waiting for her mom.
La tante: It's just a game.
Matiaz: No, she's really waiting.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Killing Floor (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The most emotionally powerful movie I have ever seen.
19 November 2006 | by chattykathypSee all my reviews

I have wanted to see this movie for a very long time. At the time it was released, my own Mother had suddenly died and I knew that it would have been too intense for me to watch. Now, it is almost 11 years later and I have finally watched it and this is quite simply one of the most true to life portrayals of grief and the journey it becomes for really anyone. I was Ponettes age when my father died and I can completely relate to her reactions, her agony and the confusion she portrayed. I can remember asking constantly when Daddy was coming back and not really accepting the answers that people were telling me. I also recall praying and talking to my father when I was alone in my room, begging him to come back and see me when no one else was around. I even had a dream about my father that was amazingly close to Ponettes interaction with her mother. This rang so true for me that I couldn't believe the writer of this story connected things in such a realistic way. Victoire Thivisol is shockingly real in this role. I cannot believe she was only 4 years old when this was filmed! It's a fascinating study of a shields emotional response to such a tragic event and quite honestly, I am at a total loss of words as to how to describe the power of this movie. I can only tell you that if you are looking for something intense and engrossing, this would be your movie. I really appreciated the feeling it left me with at the end too.....that life is not always easy and predictable but that humans are remarkably resilient beings who can actually grow in wonderful ways from the events that challenge us the most.


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