Family | 2019 | 109 min | Rating: E | France | Dir: Julien Rappeneau | Cast: Francois Damiens, Maleaume Paquin, André Dussollier, Laetitia Dosch and Ludivine Sagnier

npIn 2016, writer/director Julien Rappeneau’s comedy Rosalie Blum broke all-time Festival attendance records and achieved major success in its Australian theatrical release. The film was adapted from a graphic novel, and the form has delivered another winner for Rappeneau with this anticipated follow-up.

Impressionable 12-year old Théo is nicknamed Fourmi – ‘Ant’ – due to his diminutive stature. He wants nothing more than to offer hope to his disillusioned father, Laurent (the wonderful François Damiens, The Belier Family), a loving but lonely man struggling to deal with both retrenchment and separation from Théo’s mother.

An opportunity comes when Théo is invited to try out for the youth training programme of English football club Arsenal. Despite showing obvious talent, he’s rejected for being too small, but doesn’t have the heart to impose yet another disappointment on his father. So Théo impulsively articulates a well-meaning fiction… one that quickly spirals and overtakes not just his life, but all those around him.

As with Rosalie Blum, Rappeneau demonstrates skill at bringing empathy, humour and charm to the lives of ordinary people with this rousing and heartfelt story. Its timeless message of determination and community will speak to viewers of any age – or size.

French with English subtitles.


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