Ponette (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ponette (1996)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A four-year-old girl must come to terms with the loss of her mother and the reality of death in this award-winning French drama. Little Ponette (Victoire Thivisol) is riding in a car with her mother when they're involved in a serious accident; Ponette survives, but her mother does not. Her father (Xavier Beauvois) initially reacts with anger over his late wife's careless driving, while her Aunt Claire (Claire Nebout) tries to comfort the child by telling her about Jesus and the resurrection. However, none of this does much to reassure Ponette or clarify her confusion about the practical realities and spiritual dilemma posed by death. In time, Ponette and her cousins Matiaz (Matiaz Caton) and Delphine (Delphine Schiltz) are sent off to boarding school, where they have to resolve their confusion and loss on their own. Writer and director Jacques Doillon carefully coached Victoire Thivisol (who was too young to read the screenplay) through her performance; the results earned the child Best Actress honors at the 1996 Venice Film Festival.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Jacques Doillon
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 10, 1998
Wellspring Media Inc.


Xavier Beauvois
as Ponette's Father
Claire Nebout
as Aunt Claire
Marie Trintignant
as Ponette's Mother
Henri Berthon
as The Teacher
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Ponette

Critic Reviews for Ponette

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (13)

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 23, 1997
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | April 7, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ponette


I have no idea how Jacques Doillon managed to get such sincere performances out of 4 year old children (especially Victoire Thivisol) but Bravo Jacques, Bravo!

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

This movie is so beautiful and touching. the star (Victoire Thivisol) is an AMAZING actress, The performances (especially the children's) are so real and natural that it's almost like watching a documentary.

Robert C

Super Reviewer

A truly touching movie with brilliant acting by some of the most talented young actors I've ever seen. At the time this French film was produced, its protagonist was played by a 4-year old actress who carries this film on her small shoulders and carries it extremely well and better than most adult actors can only dream of carrying a film. The story is of an extremely sad nature and is very telling of how amazing these tiny thespians really are. To be able to act in a drama that deals with loss and tragedy and demands them to express a great amount of emotion not only showcases talent, but sucks you into the lives of these characters and makes you feel what they feel. By empathizing with a little thing like Ponette, you really feel for her and root for her until the very end. NOTE: French with English subtitles.

Rico Zamora

Super Reviewer

Ponette Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Ponette on our Movie forum!