French movies are like fine wine. From how it’s presented to you at the dinner table to how it tastes, there’s much to adore about The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches (La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes). This film is loosely based on the novel by Gaétan Soucy. In this tale of isolationist drama turned horror, we get a look at the lives of two young individuals — one male (played by Antoine L’Ecuyer) and the other female (Marine Johnson) — as they are living under the shadow of an abusive father. But when he dies, they have to figure out how to fend for themselves. Before and after this event, this film moves like an Ingmar Bergman production.
The silver tones in how this black and white movie was lit gave me goosebumps. The cinematography is gorgeous! From a narrative standpoint, I am reminded of The Witch (2015). The family is disregarded because the township thinks they follow a different kind of dogma. With Matches, I was watching an unveiling of not only the central character trying to find strength against the said patriarch but also a bullying brother who does not realize she is a she. For some unknown reason, she is made to believe she is a boy. However, as this film moves to an explosive end, the big question is if we are given hope. I definitely want to read the book to answer lingering thoughts and am making a beat to the library to find out!
4 Stars out of 5
This movie premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and it won honourable mention as Best Canadian Film. Since then, it has been appearing at select shows like the 2018 Victoria Film Festival. With Gravitas Ventures acquiring the US distribution rights to releasing this movie, it’s possible that a wider release may occur by Q3.
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