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Ponette

”You shouldn’t be too sad,” a well-meaning grown-up tells the 4-year-old girl mourning the death of her mother. ”Yes, I should,” she answers with the clarity of the very young. Rare is the movie that sees children at their own level, yet Jacques Doillon’s soul-piercing drama, Ponette might not fly without the astonishing, unguarded simplicity of its lead.

As Ponette, Thivisol progresses from inconsolable sorrow to somber attempts to bring her mother back, questioning her father, her friends, and God along the way. This is not childhood as Hollywood usually gives it to us, but a world of kindhearted little savages trusting that tiny steps will somehow add up to big answers. Ponette ultimately honors that trust, but it rips your heart out on the way. A-

Ponette
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  • Movie
mpaa
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