Its achievement lies in the space it creates for these children to open up a dialogue they rarely get to have – one that inevitably asks more questions, but that welcomes them as mature thinkers, keen to understand more about those raising them and the conditions in which they are being raised
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It’s particularly resonant, packed with emotion and insight that will move the director’s admirers (who should consider watching it alongside their own children) and probably garner her some new ones.
The result is at once both the most ordinary and most enchanted thing that Sciamma has made so far, a wise and delicate wisp of a movie.
Petite Maman is, amongst other things, a beautiful ode to mother-daughter love and a melancholy acknowledgment of the distance that always exists in that relationship, when both parties are separated by age and responsibility.
The film evinces Céline Sciamma’s profound knack for visual economy, communicating much with silent looks and structured absences.
Céline Sciamma’s beautiful fairytale reverie is occasioned by the dual mysteries of memory and the future: simple, elegant and very moving.
In their children, parents often see reflections of the kids they once were. But daughters can’t access those same memories without a little magic. And that’s just what Petite Maman delivers: the spell that makes such a reunion possible, if only in our imaginations.
Like its dappled forested backdrop, the film is a thing of pensive beauty rather than volatile drama.