‘Nana’ captures a little girl’s world
A movie review of “Nana,” Valérie Massadian’s drama about a 4-year-old girl (Kelyna Lecomte) left alone by her mother (Marie Delmas) in a cottage beside a forest in the French countryside.
Seattle Times movie critic
“Nana,” with Kelyna Lecomte, Alain Sabras, Marie Delmas, Yves Monguillon, Léo and Max Penot. Written and directed by Valérie Massadian. 68 minutes. Not rated; for mature audiences. In French, with English subtitles. Northwest Film Forum, through Thursday. Massadian will be present for screenings Friday, Monday and Tuesday.
Seen through the eyes of a 4-year-old, the world is a place of endless adventure: stories to tell and retell, paths to wander, animals to fascinate, grown-ups to take care of things. In Valérie Massadian’s drama “Nana,” a dark-eyed little girl in pink boots has all of these — except the last.
Nana (Kelyna Lecomte) lives with her mother (Marie Delmas) in a cottage beside a forest in the French countryside, near her grandfather’s farm. One day, she returns from school to find the house empty. She’s not old enough to panic; instead, she busies herself by doing a familiar puzzle (“I know it very well,” she praises herself aloud); “reading” herself a story; bringing home a trapped rabbit to play with, not realizing (or maybe she does) that it’s dead. In the morning, she dresses herself in a favorite outfit; in a businesslike way, she’s getting ready to fill another day.
“Nana” is told entirely from the point of view of its main character, so we never quite know exactly what’s going on with her mother — only that, by the end, Nana and her grandfather walk away from the camera and the cottage, carrying a suitcase and a large stuffed horse. We watch farm procedures with the animals (some rather bloody), but mostly we watch a little girl as she entertains herself, making sense of the world as she finds it. It’s a quiet and often lovely film, scored only with sounds of the forest (which we see, as Nana does, as a magical place) and the wind, letting a child make her own story.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or email@example.com