“Petite Maman” (“Petit Maman”)
Metacritic (3/10), Rotten Tomatoes (*+)
Talk about a cure for insomnia! Director Céline Sciamma’s latest offering in the female bonding genre is so understated, underdeveloped, underexplained and underwhelming that it amounts to little more than a flat-out bore, even at a scant runtime of 1:13:00. In this story of grief and loss, viewers find a sensitive eight-year-old suddenly in the company of a mysterious peer who seems uncannily familiar – and whose identity is easy to figure out without the needlessly long, stretched out, inconsequential relationship that develops between them. And, once the big reveal is made, the story doesn’t get any more interesting from there, with the duo engaging in all manner of everyday pedestrian activities that are played for being more significant and profound than they truly are. How this navel-contemplating exercise in minimalist subtlety managed to amass such critical acclaim is genuinely beyond me. However, if you can somehow manage to stay awake for this sleeper (and not in the good sense of the word), congratulations – you deserve a medal for successfully sticking out this pretentious, self-important snooze fest.