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Le Papillon (The Butterfly)

Le Papillon (The Butterfly) (2004)

tomatometer

88

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

85

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 3,745

My Rating

Movie Info

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)

Oct 19, 2004

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (4) | DVD (2)

The film has a sweetness that stops short of sentimentality.

June 4, 2004 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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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.

March 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
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An exceptionally satisfying film of much grace and beauty.

March 18, 2004 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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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.

March 18, 2004 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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Depending on your perspective, this French family drama will either feel sweetly sentimental or shamelessly manipulative.

January 2, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Comment (1)
New York Daily News
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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.

December 23, 2003
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

September 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

A delicately etched little character study.

August 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

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...

June 4, 2004 Full Review Source: SPLICEDWire
SPLICEDWire

Although well acted with a strong sense of naturalism, the film is as light and ephemeral as the [butterfly] itself.

April 9, 2004 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

Apparently, I can appreciate a good natured movie in which a sweet attachment and fluttering butterflies pervade the landscape.

March 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

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.

January 15, 2004 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Beautiful scenery and a strong cast help director Philippe Muyl overcome a less-then-compelling script.

December 19, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's all very sweet and occasionally touching. More lasting shots of more beautiful butterflies would have added a lot, though.

December 18, 2003 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

A fine French film about a cross-generational friendship between a cranky entomologist and a lonely little girl yearning for some attention.

December 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Le Papillon (The Butterfly)

A wonderfully endearing film. The two main characters are brilliant, effective and adorable. The film maker manages to take a story that could be syrupy sweet and "hollywoodish," and keeps it real and very engaging. I don't know that I would necessarily call it a children's film, but there isn't much that's objectionable for kids, with the possible exception of topics related to a semi-delinquent parent, but those topics are handled very well. The story is largely about a neglected girl and a lonely man who find that they have something rewarding and fulfilling to offer each other. It's delightful!
December 6, 2010
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

Delightfully unexpected invigorating refreshment! A movie with substance, heart and love for life... and we need so little to have all of that! I enjoyed every second of it!
May 17, 2010
PantaOz
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Schmetterling (DE)
  • The Butterfly (Le papillon) (UK)
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