- 1 hr 37 min
Ponette is a 1996 French drama film directed by Jacques Doillon and starring Victoire Thivisol in the titular role, along with Delphine Schiltz and Matiaz Bureau Caton. The movie tells the story of a four-year-old girl named Ponette, who is struggling to come to terms with the sudden death of her mother in a car accident. The movie starts with Ponette being informed by her father that her mother has died in a car accident. The little girl is devastated by the news and begs her father to bring her mother back to life. As she struggles to accept the reality of her mother's death, Ponette is sent to live with her aunt and cousin.
The movie then takes us through Ponette's journey as she tries to navigate the loss of her mother, the confusion of the adults around her, and her own attempts to understand death and spirituality. At first, Ponette tries various tactics to bring her mother back to life, such as talking to God, burying her mother's belongings, and seeking advice from her friends. However, as time goes on, she starts to realize that her mother is never coming back, and she must learn to live without her.
Throughout the movie, Ponette's performance is extraordinary, and she perfectly captures the innocence, vulnerability, and confusion of a young child trying to make sense of a tragic loss. The other child actors in the movie also deliver excellent performances, adding to the authenticity and depth of the story.
The cinematography in Ponette is stunning, with beautiful shots of the French countryside and poignant close-ups of the main characters. The music adds to the emotional intensity of the scenes, bringing the viewer deeper into Ponette's world.
One of the most impactful aspects of the movie is its portrayal of the adults in Ponette's life. From her father, who can't bring himself to talk about his wife's death or comfort his daughter, to her aunt, who tries to comfort Ponette in her own way but ultimately fails to fully understand her, the adults around Ponette are struggling with their own grief, denial, and confusion. This leaves Ponette feeling isolated and alone in her grief, without anyone who can truly relate to her experience.
Despite the heavy subject matter, the movie also has moments of joy, humor, and hope. Ponette's interactions with her friends are delightful, and her unbridled joy and energy are infectious. The ending of the movie, while not entirely what one might expect, is both poignant and uplifting.
In conclusion, Ponette is a powerful and moving film that explores the complex emotions and spiritual questions that arise in the wake of a tragedy. Victoire Thivisol's performance as Ponette is nothing short of remarkable, and the movie's subtle storytelling and beautiful cinematography make it an absolute must-see.