18 July 2010 | film_ophile
Don't Bother: A Dull Day in the Life of a 9 Year Old Girl: Flat, Long, Lifeless,Boring
Sigh. I am a major French film fan, into my 13th year of attending the annual French Film Festival at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. So many great films I have seen there, but this was definitely NOT one of them. If you click on External Reviews in the side bar of this pg., and then go to the Variety review for this film, you will see an excellent articulate review for this film, from which I stole the perfectly apt term "flat" for my title.
I do not know what this first time director (long time actor) hoped to accomplish in this film, but what a waste of time it was. French films centering on children are so dependably excellent (this years Festival highlight,Le Petit Nicholas, being one of them) that I felt doubly disappointed in Yuki and Nina. Ostensibly 'about' a Japanese/French Parisian girl reacting to news that her parents are divorcing and she is soon to move to Japan with her mother, the experience is mostly one of watching little girls play, obviously unscripted, for loooong stretches,followed by their meandering around. Adults' roles are equally amorphous and uninteresting.
When a brief unprecedented scene of magic realism is introduced, 5 minutes from the film's end, it confirmed my suspicion of this being a first time director's effort. Too bad that financial circumstances did not force him to learn his craft by making short films, so he could work his way up to making a worthwhile first feature.
Do yourself a favor and find a DVD of Ponette instead.Now THAT is a film about a little girl that you will likely not forget.