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 »
Somebody had told me that courtship was a strange mix of love and war.
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In the original French language version, after the fox jumps out the window, there is an additional 5 seconds of the girl examining and picking up the fox. In the English language version, after she runs downstairs and gasps, it immediately cuts to a shot of her carrying the fox. See more »
The direction of the animal characters is brilliantly executed -- as good as you will find on any of Attenborough's efforts.
THE FOX AND THE CHILD is the latest film from MARCH OF THE PENGUINS filmmaker Frenchman Luc Jacquet. The movie, which boasts just one human being in its cast, young actress Bertille Noël-Bruneau, tells the story of the rather rare, though seemingly believable relationship between a child and a wild fox.
Part-nature documentary, and part-fairy tale, the film focuses on L'Infant, the child, who on her way to school one day comes across the path of a wild fox in a picturesque setting, possibly France, though the exact location is never mentioned. Over the coming weeks the child revisits the place where she found her fox hopeful that one of said days she will see said fox, who she begins to call Lily, once again. And so it goes on. Days turn to weeks, and then the summer disappears, turning to fall and then winter, promting some superb cinematography of the sweeping, white winter landscape. Eventually, spring comes around again, and the young child finds her fox, and indeed does strike up a friendship with the animal. And so on.
I had little to no expectation for THE FOX AND THE CHILD. I had seen MARCH OF THE PENGUINS and was simply in awe at the film-making contained in that movie. Luc Jacquet is a hugely talented, and indeed rare film-maker, and I was expecting some superb, breathtaking cinematography, sweeping vistas and brilliant footage of the wildlife. This was delivered in spades. But here Jacquet has a screen writing credit, and not knowing anything about the movie prior to the screening, I expected something a little different than what had previously been seen in 'March'. A fictional story.
The child and the fox And the story is simple. A young, seemingly lonely child lives in a house in the middle of nowhere and walks to school, seemingly on her own, every day, seemingly without a care in the a seemingly perfect world. Without the hint of an adult in sight. Brilliant. So she strikes up a friendship with a fox.
With a film like this, you have to dismiss your own opinion of the movie and put yourselves in the shoes of the target audience. This is a film which is aimed directly at children from the age of, I'd say, six and up. Or to families who fancy a trip to the cinema with their breed one wet Sunday afternoon. Not a 31-year-old male who gets his kicks from films like the recent, brilliant WANTED and the like. But, me being the newbie London critic, I put myself in the shoes of an excited eight-year old girl for the 95 or so minutes of THE FOX AND THE CHILD. Now, I have a few problems with this film. As a 31-year-old lad, and loyal lover of all things cinematic, I loved the wildlife and landscape photography. It's visually stunning. The direction of the animal characters is brilliantly executed -- as good as you will find on any of Attenborough's efforts. As an impressionable, short attention spanning eight year old, I loved about the first half hour -- then I lost interest. It's a little repetitive and in places quite harrowing and bloody scary for a younger child, particularly the rather dark ending. As a 31-year-old male -- I was a little frightened in places. Wuss.
So, it's not a child's film. It's not really an adult film and I felt a little let down. Is it a good family film. Depends. It's educational maybe, and the film carries a message. It's definitely not a film I would pay the hard earned green to go see and I'm racking my brains to try and recommend it to a certain type of film goer. It's hard, but I know some will go see and fall in love this film. It's very European in feel and certainly if you are a fan of wildlife themed flicks, give it a try. Unsure? Well I'd wait for the DVD for a wet Sunday afternoon in then. -- Paul Heath, http://www.thehollywoodnews.com, July 2008.
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