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.
Official submission of Switzerland for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 89th Academy Awards in 2017. See more »
Your mum is no longer there, Icare.
My name is Courgette!
Courgette... Did your mum call you that? Hm. My name is Raymond.
Did your mum call you that?
See more »
About halfway through the credits, we see an animated sequence based, apparently, on the lead actor's audition tape. See more »
Delightful Swiss stop-motion animated movie almost ruined by being dubbed in English
"My Life As a Zucchini" (2016 release from Switzerland; 70 min.; original title "Ma vie de Courgette") brings the story of a 9 yr. old boy nicknamed Zucchini by his mom. As the movie opens, we see the boy playing in his attic room, as his mom drinks beer after beer while watching TV. After an unfortunate incident during which the boy accidentally causes his mom to fall off of the attic stairs, the boy is taken away to a country-side orphanage, where he has trouble fitting in with the other 5 kids. Then some time later, a new kid enters the orphanage, a girl named Camille. At this point we are maybe 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is a stop-motion animated film. I admit not being familiar with Swiss director Claude Barras, but regardless, Barras here brings a tale (based on the book "Autobiographie d'une Courgette") that cuts close to the heart about the need for love and understanding. The boy, missing his father (whom he has painted on his kite) AND his alcoholic mother (it's not clear what became of her, other that "she went away), is desperate for love and companionship as he makes his new life at the orphanage. The main characters are fully developed, with lost of nuance, and while there is quite a bit of humor in the film, the overall feeling is more bittersweet than anything. This movie is rated PG-13 for a reason and I would not recommend this for any kids younger than 9 or 10. BEWARE: the US theater release which I saw brings the movie in a dubbed version, sadly. It takes away from the charm of the movie, not to mention the originality (it's like watching the Simpsons dubbed in French if you get my drift). That point is only driven home even more so since we get , after the movie's end credits, a fake take-out of the boy being auditioned for the role, which is shown in French with subtitles, and you can immediately feel the difference in the voice characters. Shame on the US distributor for "dumbing down" the US release. Last but certainly not least, there is a delight soundtrack to this movie, courtesy of Swiss singer-songwriter Sophie Hunger (check out the heartbreaking tune that plays over the end credits). "My Life As a Zucchini" got an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature at the recent Oscars. The fact that it didn't win is besides the point, this is a top-notch quality movie, period. My only other complaint, other than the US theater release being dubbed, is that I wasn't ready to bid farewell to this film after just over an hour... (The screening was rounded out by another Swiss stop-motion animated shortie, the 8 min. delightful "The Genie In the Box of Raviolis".)
"My Life As a Zucchini" opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati and I couldn't wait to see it. The Friday evening screening where I saw this at was attended poorly (only 6 people, including myself), so I imagine this will not play more than a week in the theater. If you have a chance to catch this later on Amazon Instant Video or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, I strongly recommend you do so, you won't regret it. "My Life As a Zucchini" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
21 of 29 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this