Reviews | Written by Jonathan Anderson 10/01/2022

PETITE MAMAN

Céline Sciamma’s quieter, shorter follow-up to Portrait of a Woman on Fire is still an intimate affair. It explores a very simple yet fantastical idea that is well-written and beautifully executed. We are introduced to a little girl called Nelly (Josepheine Sanz) in the aftermath of her grandmother passing away.

As her parents – especially her mother (Nina Meurisse) – struggle to deal with their grief in their own separate ways, Nelly copes with it in a fascinating and mature way, upending stereotypes of a typical family hierarchy. She befriends a familiar girl her age (Gabrielle Sanz) in the woods and through this friendship the relationship and roles of mother and daughter are playfully explored.

An incredible performance by the twin Sanz sisters and an uplifting, yet brief soundtrack (essentially three songs remixed) played at just the right time make this both a heartwarming and heartbreaking film.