Starring: Gaspard Schlatter, Sixtine Murat, Paulin Jaccound
Director: Claude Barras
Running Time: 66 mins
My Life As A Courgette (Ma vie de Courgette) is a Swiss film about a young boy who is sent to a small foster home after losing his mother, and through his relationships with the other orphans, begins to form strong trust, friendships and even love.
This is a cute little film. At just over an hour long, My Life As A Courgette works well with a sweet atmosphere and quirky animation to make you smile, and with its unique vibe, it’s enough to make a memorable, albeit short watch. And yet, in such a short running time, the film covers some impressively interesting and often even dark subjects, even if some of the more dramatic elements aren’t quite as powerful as I would have liked.
Let’s start off on the bright side, and what I liked most about this movie: the animation. With a charmingly simple stop-motion style that matches the film’s short and sweet vibe, as well as giving the somewhat more mature story a more family-friendly appearance, the animation is perfectly on point in this movie. There’s also the fact that, as sweet as it is, the design of the characters isn’t half strange, and with particularly the main character’s very pale and washed out appearance, it also matches some of the deeper and sadder sides to the story.
Another positive from this film is that, whilst its story does occasionally move towards darker story elements, it’s overall a sweet and enjoyable watch that’s pretty pleasant throughout. Rather unfortunately, the fact that the film is so short, and generally not quite as heartwarmingly delightful as it could be, means that you won’t come out of this film beaming, and nor will you come out feeling hugely affected by its story.
When it comes to the darker side of the plot, it’s a very bold move for a film as small as this to go for something that looks completely out of the ordinary when you go into the movie. On the whole, I can’t say that some of the more real-world and dark elements that centre on orphanage, lost childhood and more are as central or really effective as some of the sweeter themes about friendship and young love, but it’s a unique and interesting take that gives the film a very distinctive feel.
Overall, I can’t say that My Life As A Courgette is a perfect film. It’s a little too short for me, and as such doesn’t have the lasting impression it wants, and although it goes bold with a mature and often dark story, it’s the sweeter side of things that works best, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.2.