August 8, 2008

The Fox and the Child (U)

LUC JACQUET, director of the Oscar-winning March Of The Penguins, heads for sunnier climes in this family feature, which smudges the line separating wildlife documentary from sentimental drama.

Inspired by the filmmaker's childhood in France, the film is a visually stunning valentine to the balance betweenman and nature.

The production spent six months in Italy, capturing footage ofwild foxes in their natural habitat, which would then be integrated into the screenplay penned by Jacquet and Eric Rognard.

Omnipresent voiceover provides a direct link between the stunning imagery and young actress Bertille Noel-Bruneau as the pint-sized villagerwho learns that some creatures can never be tamed.

"My story started one day on the way to school. I remember itwell. I was 10 years old ..." begins narrator KateWinslet, relating the inner thoughts of a little girl (Noel-Bruneau) as shewanders along a pathwhere she spies a fox.

The girl decides to impose herself on thiswilderness.

The film is blessedwith gorgeous cinematography and a haunting score but the storyline struggles to CHARMING: Bertille Noel- Bruneau and the fox hold your interest for 94 minutes.

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