Nelly (Josephine Sanz) and her parents go to say goodbye to Nelly’s grandmother (Margot Abascal) in a nursing home. When the grandmother dies, the family heads to the home where Nelly’s mother (Nina Meurisse) grew up to pack the grandmother’s belongings.
Nelly’s mother struggles with confronting the past and leaves. Nelly and her father (Stephane Varupenne) must finish the job of packing up. While her father tackles cupboards and bookcases, Nelly searches the woods for the fabulous fort her mother once built. She crosses paths with Marion (Gabrielle Sanz), a friendly neighbour who also happens to be the 8-year-old version of her mother.
Together Nelly and Marion build the fort, and Nelly gets a chance to know a younger version of her grandmother. When Nelly tells Marion that she’s her future daughter, the girls comfort and reassure each other. This helps them prepare to face the immediate challenges that lie ahead.
Death; separation from a parent; illness and hereditary disabilities
Petite Maman has some violence. For example, we hear that a character in a play dies under suspicious circumstances.
Petite Maman has some sexual references. For example, Marion pretends to be a character who doesn’t know she’s pregnant and has a child.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Petite Maman shows some use of substances. For example:
- Nelly’s father smokes a cigarette.
- Marion’s mother drinks wine with her dinner.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s no nudity and sexual activity in Petite Maman.
The following products are displayed or used in Petite Maman: Coca-Cola.
There’s no coarse language in Petite Maman.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Petite Maman is a slow-paced French drama with English subtitles. The movie features beautiful cinematography and believable performances from all cast members. There’s also minimal dialogue, and the emotion is often in what’s left unsaid as the family processes the loss of its grandmother. Older, more mature audiences will probably enjoy this movie more than children, for whom it might lack interest.
The main messages from Petite Maman are that life can be difficult and death is heartbreaking, but the experiences we share with the people we love make it all worthwhile.
Values in Petite Maman that you could reinforce with your children include creativity, friendliness, compassion, forgiveness and love.
Petite Maman could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the importance of spending time together and getting to know people from older generations, because life is precious and fleeting.