Luc Jacquet’s March of the Penguins follow-up wraps lush woodland photography around a narrative about a red-headed girl (the perfectly expressive Bertille NoÃ«l-Bruneau) and the fox she befriends.
There’s an undeniable fascination about the extent of Jacquet’s construction â€” when a wildcat chases a fox across a film set, how does anyone get it to stop? â€” but otherwise the director’s Disneyfication of nature marches on; Kate Winslet’s gushy voiceover doesn’t help.
Animal magic has a sting in the tale<
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.
In The Fox And The Child, a visually stunning valentine to changing seasons in a woodland community and the delicate balance between man and nature, omnipresent voiceover provides a direct link between the stunning imagery and young actress Bertille Noel-Bruneau as the pint-sized villager who learns to her cost that some creatures can never be tamed.
Narrator Kate Winslet relates the inner thoughts of the freckled, red-haired tyke as she wanders along a path and spies a fox.
Enchanted by the majestic creature that she christens Lily, the girl arrogantly decides to impose herself on this untouched wilderness and spends long hours shadowing the fox until a broken limb forces her to spend much of the winter at home.
Meanwhile, the object of her obsession frolics in the snow.
â€œI was free again after two months indoors,â€ trills Winslet as the girl dashes into the undergrowth in search of the fox, witnessing gorgeous scenes of everyday animal life involving playful badgers, otters, woodpeckers, frogs and even a bear.
Eventually, the meddlesome urchin gets her wish and she attempts to domesticate the fox, with truly horrific and bloody consequences that will probably upset very young viewers and most parents too.
The film is blessed with gorgeous cinematography and a haunting orchestral score but the flimsy storyline struggles to hold our interest for 94 minutes.
Some of the voiceover could be excised entirely, allowing viewers to draw their own conclusions without being force-fed every emotion.
Source: Source: Gazette Live