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FOX AND THE CHILD, THE

SYNOPSIS:
One autumn morning, a little girl (Bertille Noël-Bruneau) catches sight of a fox. Fascinated to the point that she forgets all fear, she dares to go up to him. For an instant, the barriers that separate the child and the animal disappear. It is the beginning of the most amazing and fabulous of friendships. Thanks to the fox, the little girl discovers a wild and secret environment. And so begins an adventure which will change her life, her vision and ours...

Review by Louise Keller:
Exquisite cinematography and a beautifully told story about the unlikely friendship between a little girl and a wild fox, make this a magical experience. The French forest and mountainous locations are breathtakingly beautiful; the idea for director Luc Jacquet's story comes from his own personal experiences as a child. As children, we are so impressionable; events from our childhood are etched indelibly into our being. The journey that transpires is a wondrous adventure into nature as we, together with the freckle-faced youngster with an easy laugh and insatiable curiosity, learn the sharp divide between love and possession. It's a story of friendship, of discovery and the inevitable loss of innocence. The Fox and The Child is a gorgeous film from the director of The March of the Penguins that guarantees to delight young and old.

It all begins as she is walking through the woods on her way to school. It is the first time she has seen a fox so close and the experience is bewitching. Their colouring is not dissimilar. Her auburn hair with the unruly wisps that dance before her eyes is in perfect harmony with the sleek russet and white creature whose magnificent tail stands thick and tall. Thus starts her obsession as she becomes determined to seek out her new friend. The woods are like an enchanted forest, strewn with golden autumn leaves scattered haphazardly. A fluttering leaf, a puff of wind, a butterfly with transparent wings, croaking frogs, friendly insects and four-legged creatures roam unrestrictedly. When her eyes meet those of the fox, it is as though a spell is cast. Seasons change: thick white snow falls, buds open as spring comes into view. Slowly a relationship develops between them; the little girl talks to the fox as she would to a friend.

Extraordinary images takes us close up into the world of nature. We watch in awe as the camera captures incredible minutia as a mouse becomes prey, baby fox cubs are born and the dazzling detail of a delicate flower is revealed. Then the line between freedom and control becomes blurred and everything changes. I love this film and found its central concept unforgettable. If I have one criticism, it would be Kate Winslet's narration. I am not critical of Winslet per se but I would have preferred to hear a younger, more vulnerable voice to echo the sentiments expressed. Vulnerability after all is what the film is about.



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

FOX AND THE CHILD, THE (G)
(France, 2007)

Le renard et l'enfant

CAST: Bertille Noël-Bruneau, Isabelle Carré, Thomas Laliberté

NARRATION: Kate Winslet

PRODUCER: Yves Darondeau, Emmanuel Priou

DIRECTOR: Luc Jacquet

SCRIPT: Luc Jacquet

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Eric Dumage, Gérard Simon

EDITOR: Sabine Emiliani

MUSIC: Evgueni Galperine, Alice Lewis, David Reyes

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Not credited

RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Hopscotch

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 9, 2009







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