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Click to enlarge Petite Maman tells the story of a girl who discovers a secret world in the woods after the death of her grandmother.  - COURTESY OF NEON

Courtesy of Neon

Little mom tells the story of a girl who discovers a secret world in the woods after the death of her grandmother.

A little girl Nelly (Josephine Sanz) loses her beloved grandmother and retreats to her mother Marion’s (Nina Meurisse) childhood home where the family prepares her for sale.

Playing outside one day, eight-year-old Nelly strolls through the forest and seems to enter another universe. There she discovers a small house very similar to that of her grandmother. And inside lives a little girl Marion (Josephine Gabrielle Sanz’s twin sister) who looks like her.

There’s a dreamlike dimension to the unfolding of events, where Marion’s real-life characters resonate with the people she meets on her foray into the woods.

A delicate fairy tale-like film with a whiff of metaphysical fantasy, Little mom deals with love and loss with extraordinarily subtle brushstrokes. Directed by the remarkable French director CĂ©line Sciamma (Tomboy, Youth, Portrait of a lady on fire), Little mom revisits ideas explored in his other films, including the deep bonds between women, whether romantic, filial or familial, and the complexity of his female characters of all ages.

Although it’s never made clear, from the moment you meet Nelly, you feel the profound impact of her grandmother’s death. In a gesture that may seem morbid for an adult but is quite the sheer sentimentality of a child, Nelly wants her grandmother’s cane – the mark of her lifelong disability – and clings to it. saying goodbye to her grandmother’s friends. nursing home. Barely noticeable below the surface is the deep, unspoken heartache that children often carry hidden in plain sight from adults. This trip to the woods is a way to rediscover that love and connection, a sort of retreat into one’s own psyche and imagination.

The little girls Nelly and Marion engage in the all-consuming and delicious projects that engage children. They work on a fort in the woods. Nelly meets Marion’s mother, who walks with a cane. They have a sleepover. A bond is forged between the girls that can bring you back to memories of your own intense childhood relationships.

Sciamma has a knack for capturing how the lives and passions of these children can make adults seem almost tangential. As Nelly’s parents are seen, their presence is diminished by the strength of Sciamma’s rendering of the little girl who is undeniably the emotional core of Little mom.

This is not a children’s film, but rather a film that accurately records the unique perception, imagination, and even sense of slower, longer time that defines how children experience the world. It shows respect for its child characters and their depth and sense of gravity in a way that many movies made specifically for kids don’t. And Little mom is also a movie for adults who want to reminisce about the feelings of childhood that we may have forgotten: the rich bonds, the incredible joy of playing, the leisurely way a day unfolds, and how the world of your imagination is as rich and alive as reality.

Little mom opens May 6 at the Landmark Theater in the Plaza Frontenac.

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