Writer: Amelie van Elmbt, Matthieu de Braconier (Screenplay)
Starring: Isabelle Barth, Thomas Blanchard, Judith Chemla, Kristof Coenen, Alice de Lencquesaing, Lina Doillon
Plot: Dour ex-boyfriend Antoine (Thomas Blanchard) returns to his Belgian hometown where he reunites with his ex-lover and the mother (Judith Chemla) of their five-year-old girl, Elsa (Lina Doillon), whom he has never met. Through an unexpected turn of events, Antoine suddenly finds himself left alone to take care of the young, inquisitive and spirited youngster. Produced by the Dardenne brothers.
Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Elephant and the Butterfly starts when Antoine (Blanchard) looks to visit his ex-girlfriend Camille (Chemla) who has been raising a daughter Elsa (Doillon), she doesn’t want to speak to Antoine, but when her business meeting occurs, she is left with no other option to leave Elsa with Antoine.
With Antoine left alone with a young child, he does the right thing by caring for her, until he forgets the keys, forcing him to take Elsa back to his own home, waiting for Camille to return, getting to know his own daughter for the first time.
Thoughts on The Elephant and the Butterfly
Characters – Antoine moved away from the town he had with his former girlfriend, now he has returned, he finds himself being asked to first meet, and then look after the daughter he never met. While things with Elsa do go well, his own personal life starts to suffer, though the joys of being a father shine through for him. Elsa is his daughter, the daughter he never met, she is like every 5-year-old, she just wants to explore the world. Camille is Elsa mother and the ex-girlfriend of Antoine, she has made a life for her daughter, but business has forced her into turning to Antoine for help with her for the first time.
Performances – Thomas Blanchard in the leading role is great to watch, he shows the connection a father is first trying to make with a daughter, looking at the time together with such delight, while also showing moments that his character isn’t prepared for parenthood. Lina Doillon is cute as they come as the daughter, she fills the screen with joy at all times.
Story – The story here follows a man that returns to his home town to meet his daughter, where he ends up having to look after her for a weekend, while her mother is on a business trip. This does show the bond grown between a father and daughter over quick time, it does also show the highlight of the problems between the two adults. It is told in such charm that makes you believe this is done for the right reason.
Settings – The film does take the father around his local area to spend time with the daughter, it shows us just how close they will become over the short time.
Scene of the Movie – Beach day.
Final Thoughts – This is an easy to watch charming movie about building a relationship with a child, after not spending any time together.