The Thorn in the Heart (2010)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Michel Gondry's directorial style is as bewitching as ever, but his intensely personal subject matter may leave viewers wondering why The Thorn in the Heart didn't stay in the family.


Movie Info

Filmmaker Michel Gondry turns from the playful semi-surrealism of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep to the personal story of a beloved family member in this documentary. Suzette Gondry is Michel's aunt and a retired schoolteacher; she educated children in rural communities in France from 1952 to 1986. While Suzette was committed to the education of all her students, she was a particularly close with one in particular -- her son, Jean-Yves, with whom she's had a … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Michel Gondry
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 10, 2010
Runtime:
Oscilloscope Pictures

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Critic Reviews for The Thorn in the Heart

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (11)

Its rambling structure, peppered with lyrical, magical-realist asides, may not be to all tastes, but there's a sense that Gondry wants this to be more than an eccentric personal portrait...

Full Review… | December 9, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

Brimming with affection and beautifully shot, but it builds a flimsy case for why it matters.

Full Review… | May 13, 2010
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

This is an extraordinary film.

Full Review… | April 5, 2010
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

As Mr. Gondry unfolds the story of her life, and of her inability to connect with the son she sees as weak, you can understand why it would consume a family‚(TM)s interest, but you‚(TM)re not sure why he thought it would pique ours.

Full Review… | April 2, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

The film is well-constructed, as one would expect from Gondry, but it offers little reason for anyone outside the family circle to care about dear old Tante Suzette.

Full Review… | April 2, 2010
New York Post
Top Critic

The Thorn In The Heart's home-movie-style images are frequently lovely and the film has flashes of poignancy, but Gondry never fully gets across why the specifics of this family history should interest anyone outside his circle.

Full Review… | April 1, 2010
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Thorn in the Heart

"The Thorn in the Heart" is a documentary from Michel Gondry about his aunt Suzette, concentrating on her teaching career and the people whose lives she has touched over the decades. Just because the material is slight does not stop Gondry from using it to explore some of his favorite themes including memory while having fun with the documentary genre itself, as the movie becomes very meta at times through heightened transparency. One example is the recreation of the infamous blocked bathroom door incident. The highlight for me was the model train set that was used in chapter titles which is a very nice touch especially if you are watching this documentary on a train as I was.

Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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