7.8/10
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37 user 177 critic

My Life as a Zucchini (2016)

Ma vie de Courgette (original title)
Trailer
1:33 | Trailer

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After losing his mother, a young boy is sent to a foster home with other orphans his age where he begins to learn the meaning of trust and true love.

Director:

Claude Barras

Writers:

Céline Sciamma (screenplay writer), Germano Zullo (contributing writer) | 5 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gaspard Schlatter Gaspard Schlatter ... Courgette (voice)
Sixtine Murat Sixtine Murat ... Camille (voice)
Paulin Jaccoud Paulin Jaccoud ... Simon (voice)
Michel Vuillermoz Michel Vuillermoz ... Raymond (voice)
Raul Ribera Raul Ribera ... Ahmed (voice)
Estelle Hennard Estelle Hennard ... Alice (voice)
Elliot Sanchez Elliot Sanchez ... Jujube (voice)
Lou Wick Lou Wick ... Béatrice (voice)
Brigitte Rosset Brigitte Rosset ... Tante Ida (voice)
Natacha Koutchoumov ... Courgette's Mother (voice) (as Natacha Varga-Koutchoumov)
Monica Budde Monica Budde ... Mme Papineau (voice)
Adrien Barazzone Adrien Barazzone ... Mr. Paul (voice)
Véronique Montel Véronique Montel ... Rosy (voice)
Romane Cretegny Romane Cretegny ... Fillette (voice)
Evelyne Bouvier Evelyne Bouvier ... Maman de la fillette (voice)
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and suggestive material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Switzerland | France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

24 February 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

My Life as a Zucchini See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,472, 26 February 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$292,279, 7 April 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$219,663, 19 March 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Switzerland for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 89th Academy Awards in 2017. See more »

Quotes

Raymond: Your mum is no longer there, Icare.
Courgette: My name is Courgette!
Raymond: Courgette... Did your mum call you that? Hm. My name is Raymond.
Courgette: Did your mum call you that?
See more »

Crazy Credits

About halfway through the credits, we see an animated sequence based, apparently, on the lead actor's audition tape. See more »

Connections

Version of C'est mieux la vie quand on est grand (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Le Vent nous portera
Lyrics by Bertrand Cantat
Music by Bertrand Cantat, Denis Barthe, Jean-Paul Roy & Serge Teyssot-Gay
Performed by Sophie Hunger
See more »

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User Reviews

A story of caring and sentiment without being sentimental.
13 March 2017 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"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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