With her latest offering, Céline Sciamma has not only given us one of the best films of the year, but a film that may just provide the perfect entry point to get young viewers into world cinema, away from the many animated offerings. "Petite Maman" has a compact running time of around 72 minutes and tells the story of a young girl called Nelly (Joséphine Sanz) who, after recently losing her grandmother, befriends Marion (Gabrielle Sanz), whom she meets playing in the woods.
This exquisite film offers a child-friendly exploration of grief in a way that few other films do, told with a lens full of wonder and imagination. While grounded in very real themes, there is a fantastical atmosphere to the picture as well, meaning it will easily enrapture audiences of any age. In finding inspiration for her film, Sciamma turned to the legendary Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, telling Empire magazine, "I used him as a compass. He takes children seriously, he takes female characters seriously. He has a serious connection to nature. Sometimes to solve a question on set I would ask, 'What would Miyazaki do?'"
After its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in March 2021, "Petite Maman" has continued to receive positive reviews. Mark Kermode, film critic for The Guardian, also highlighted the Miyazaki connections, saying that "you can feel the timeless energy of Studio Ghibli's finest features” in the film and calling it a "heartbreakingly hopeful fairytale for all ages."
Source : https://www.looper.com/677936/the-best-family-movies-of-2021/287