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 »
I first saw this movie in a theater in France a year or so ago. It came and went with little fanfare, but I enjoyed it for the beauty of the landscape photography and the fascinating wildlife footage. (The story, while nice, is really incidental. If you actually thought about it, there is no way most of what happens could happen in real life.) I just saw it again tonight, here in the States, on DVD. Again, I gather it has very limited distribution. Blockbusters only had one copy of it, and I don't recall it ever playing in the art houses in Cleveland.
Seen on my TV, the photography is not as breathtaking, though it is still very beautiful. The wildlife footage is still fascinating. The story of the relationship between the 10-year old child and the fox is even less convincing the second time around, when you know where it's headed.
Still, as I said, the story is incidental. It's a beautiful film to watch, and if you like wildlife footage, you should find this fascinating.
I saw this movie again tonight, almost a decade after I first saw it in the theater. I still find it to be an often astoundingly beautiful film visually. The views of the animals and the landscape are just breathtaking. Not as breathtaking as in a theater, but still a joy to behold.
The child I still find aggravating. The music is good, though, and Kate Winslet does a wonderful job of reading the English narration, so I wouldn't turn off the sound.
I would try to ignore the child, though. While she is sometimes beautifully photographed, her character is the only disagreeable spot in this otherwise so very beautiful movie.
This would definitely be a good movie for children, by the way. It teaches a lesson that all humans should learn: wild animals are just that. No matter how cute they are, they need to stay in nature, and cannot be turned into pets.
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