Short reviews for clear and concise verdicts on a broad range of films…
My Life As A Courgette (Dir. Claude Barras/2017)
My Life As A Courgette sets up the ugliness of humanity in the opening scenes. Icare, or as his mother refers to him, Courgette, is an only child. His mother is a drunk, with beer cans strewn across the house, forcing Courgette to entertain himself in his decrepit, grey room. By accident, his mum dies and Courgette is placed in a care home with other children who suffered a similar fate. These are children of drug addicts, murderers and illegal immigrants. Though the stop-motion technique immediately makes you recall Aardman Animation, My Life As A Courgette uses the style to reinforce the heartbreaking truth of the situation: these are young children. The childish playdough-like perspective reminds us that they are kids who love to run around, play in snow and draw on any surface they find. The brutal bullying and isolation of such a care home is revealed but, thankfully, things start to look up for little Courgette. The electric colours, vivid and playful, allude to darker realities too: the dark blue beneath Courgette’s eyes; the little scars and cuts on the children’s faces. The music too, by Sophie Hunger, has a modern, innovative edge, akin to Radiohead’s Amnesiac, without being too distracting. My Life As A Courgette is full of heart and, on reflection, underneath the inevitably sweet and happy ending it highlights those who are left behind. An Oscar nominee and winning many more awards for its unique appearance and poignant tale, this 66-minute treat can’t be missed.