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My Life as a Courgette


Stars: Voices: Erick Abbate, Romy Beckman, Will Forte, Ellen Page, Nick Offerman, Ness Krell

Director: Claude Barras

A very brief stop-motion 'Plasticene' animation from Switzerland and France. The characters have huge heads on little bodies and central of them to the narration is Icare, a nine-year-old boy known as Courgette, who has accidentally killed his drunken mother by bringing his attic trapdoor down on her head.

He finds himself carted off to Fontaine, a small school for orphans, where he soon crosses swords with Simon, the school bully, though they later become friends. The six kids there, all around nine or 10, are soon joined by the divine Camille, hoping to avoid being taken away by her harridan aunt. Courgette falls heavily.

The rest of a film rather lacking in incident for such a short runtime concerns the kids' visit to a nearby ski resort, and visits to the friendly policeman who originally brought Courgette to the home.

A healthy vein of reality runs through the film. Camille reads Kafka; the kids discuss sex, but Simon has it down pat: 'The man wiggles this way, the woman wiggles that way and his willy explodes'. Quite so, Simon.

Then it all ends just as it seems that there's more story to be told. Perhaps they ran out of Plasticene.

David Quinlan

Switzerland/France 2016. UK Distributor: Thunderbird. Colour by Transpalux.
67 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 30 May 2017