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.
Mature take on youth that still keeps a child-like tone
My Life as a Zucchini was nominated for Best Feature Film at the 89th Academy Awards. And for a 70 minute feature, that says a lot. This French-Swiss stop-motion animation film takes on a mature content but never fails to keep its child-like tone and to an extent, its innocence.
It follows the story of Icare (but prefers to be called Zucchini), who lives with his alcoholic mother. After an accident, Zucchini has been sent to an orphanage by a policeman named Raymond. Zucchini's start at the orphanage is rough—thanks to the Simon, the bully. From there on, we are immersed into Zucchini's adventures as he learns of friendship, of family and of love.
This animated film ravel with its wonderful visuals that reminds us of the days when its was toys over tablets. In a way, this serves as a nostalgic treat for teenagers. Almost every scene carries a powerful meaning. But its greatest feat is looking at the lives of these children through a different lens—they are all abandoned, damaged or broken. One has her mom deported, the other has his father jailed— these are all mature themes but nevertheless, real.
But despite all that, Zucchini and his crew are all still children. They play, they dance, they sing. The film never stops to carry this child-like tone. The colorful aesthetics are impactful and an array of vibrancy spreads across the screen. It is a brave film that looks at life at an emotional depth. It's an eye-opening experience.
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