My Life as a Courgette
Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, Claude Barras’s My Life as a Courgette tears up the rulebook for children’s cinema. Adapted from Gilles Paris’ book by Céline Sciamma (Girlhood, Tomboy), this melancholy yet witty claymation traces the effects of childhood tragedy, with a dubbed English language voice cast including Will Forte, Nick Offerman, Ellen Page and Amy Sedaris.
Nine-year-old Icare, known to his friends as ‘Courgette’, finds himself in a local orphanage after the accidental death of his alcoholic mother. Here he meets a group of children, each with their own emotional burdens and traumas to bear. Rather than dwelling on their misfortunes, the kids adopt a pragmatic approach to leading their lives, finding ways to co-exist in relative harmony. And the arrival of young Camille gives Courgette his first taste of hope and possible romance.
Despite its disarmingly uncomplicated look, this stunning animated feature deals with its mature themes subtly and with respect, eschewing sentimentality for brutal honesty and exploring the ways we adapt to the world and make the best of our lives.