Oscars Preview: 30 Movies to Watch Before the Nominations Come Out!

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Image via Gebeka Films

My Life as a Zucchini

What it’s about:

My Life as a Zucchini, or Ma vie de Courgette, is a Swiss stop-motion animation film that deals with deep themes. A young boy nicknamed Zucchini is sent reeling when his mother dies suddenly. He is taken to a foster care center, where he makes the acquaintance of several friends and a few bullies. Despite his loneliness, Zucchini finds hope in the world, particularly through a new child in the orphanage, Camille. But when an abusive guardian tries to take Camille away, Zucchini vows to try his best to save her.

Major Players:

Acclaimed Swiss director Claude Barras directed and co-wrote My Life as a Zucchini, which is based on a novel by Gilles Paris. His co-writer is the César-nominated French screenwriter (and writer/director of the hit Girlhood) Céline Sciamma, along with Germano Zullo and Morgan Navarro. Voice talent includes newcomers Gaspard Schlatter, Sixtine Murat, and Paulin Jaccoud, as well as César-nominated French actor Michel Vuillermoz.

What the Critics are Saying:

Critics are almost universally impressed with My Life as a Zucchini as a realistic yet hopeful portrayal of a tragic childhood. Variety’s Peter Debruge notes, “On one hand, the cartoon is never afraid to be cute, but more importantly, it’s committed to being real”. Boyd Van Hoeij of The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “lovingly told and gorgeously rendered story,” noting that “Given that there’s a lot of offscreen hurt for many of the preteen characters but that their faces are made of plasticine, what Barras has achieved here is nothing short of a miracle”. And Lisa Nesselson of Screen Daily writes, “A compact triumph of stop-motion animation in the service of a bittersweet tale, My Life As A Courgette (My Vie de Courgette) is as delightful as it is affecting.”

Possible Nominations:

Best Foreign Language Film, Best Animated Feature

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Which films of these have you already seen? Which are now on your to-watch list?