Le Papillon (The Butterfly)
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Le Papillon (The Butterfly)
Directed and written by Philippe Muyl, the family-friendly Le Papillon (The Butterfly) concerns a search for the title creature. Often lonely because of her single mother's busy work schedule, eight-year-old Elsa (Claire Bouanich) befriends an elderly neighbor man named Julien (Michel Serrault), eventually joining him on a trek to find a rare butterfly that lives for only 72 hours. As the relationship between the two teaches them both a few things about themselves, Elsa's mother (Nade Dieu) worries that her daughter has been kidnapped.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film has a sweetness that stops short of sentimentality."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"If there's anyone to credit for The Butterfly's eventual triumph over the inherent fatuousness of the material, it's the great Serrault and his tiny leading lady, who matches her elder nearly line for line and look for look."
‑ Hazel-Dawn Dumpert, L.A. Weekly
"The unyielding lens catches even the smallest moments of yielding as the two humans, one so young and one so old, one so eager and one so broken, come to appreciate each other."
‑ Kim Williamson, Boxoffice Magazine
"Although well acted with a strong sense of naturalism, the film is as light and ephemeral as the [butterfly] itself."
‑ Kent Turner, Film-Forward.com
"Beautiful scenery and a strong cast help director Philippe Muyl overcome a less-then-compelling script."
‑ Angel Cohn, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The story is as predictable as a hot summer in South Florida, but if you're in need of comfort, Le Papillon is a good choice."
‑ Marta Barber, Miami Herald
"Depending on your perspective, this French family drama will either feel sweetly sentimental or shamelessly manipulative."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"A delicately etched little character study."
‑ Harry Haun, Film Journal International
"Apparently, I can appreciate a good natured movie in which a sweet attachment and fluttering butterflies pervade the landscape."
‑ Jules Brenner, Filmcritic.com
"It's all very sweet and occasionally touching. More lasting shots of more beautiful butterflies would have added a lot, though."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"An exceptionally satisfying film of much grace and beauty."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Michel Serrault's typically expert performance and writer-director Philippe Muyl's ability to avoid the usual cliches in his execution of the tale give The Butterfly an undeniable appeal."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"Quiet yet wonderfully curious, bold but not bratty, this moon-faced little girl captures the subconsciously tarnished innocence of a child accustomed to having the blues..."
‑ Rob Blackwelder, SPLICEDWire
"Just once, I'd like to see a foreign film about a cranky old person and an adorable tyke who don't become pals and change each other's lives."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"A fine French film about a cross-generational friendship between a cranky entomologist and a lonely little girl yearning for some attention."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for Le Papillon (The Butterfly) on Rotten Tomatoes