Nenette (2010) - Rotten Tomatoes

Nenette (2010)

Nenette (2010)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

She's a 40-year-old longtime Parisian, with an unruly mop of red hair and soulful, close-set dark brown eyes. Nénette is introspec- tive, perhaps melancholic, but beloved by those who visit her daily. After "having worn out three husbands" and given birth to four children, she's convalescing from major surgery, and looks forward to life's simple pleasures, like tea and yogurt at 4:30 each afternoon. Nénette is an orangutan in the famed Jardin des Plantes Exotiques zoo, and acclaimed documentarian Nicolas Philibert (TO BE AND TO HAVE) captures her day-to-day routine in this charming, poignant and wonderfully funny portrait. She's one of our closest relations -- the one with an enviable chunk of Paris real estate to call her own. 600,000 people file past Nénette's cage annually: admiring her, commenting on her appearance, wondering what her deepest thoughts may be, speculating on whether she misses the forests of Borneo where she was born in 1969. Anyone who has ever indulged themselves at the zoo by watching a favored animal for an extended period of time -- observing its daily routine, its whims, and personality traits - will get a huge kick out of NÉNETTE.-- (C)

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Critic Reviews for Nenette

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (10)

The collection of images and tidbits of information raise interesting questions about keeping animals in captivity.

February 25, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The persistent gaze in both directions raises unanswered questions about captivity and voyeurism.

February 25, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

For all but the most devoted animal watchers, the film may come across as slow and repetitive.

February 3, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4

Small details are magnified by Philibert's long, quiet takes, and Nénette's mundane human characteristics make us consider our own lives and how we relate to the natural world.

February 2, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Zoo creatures seem like funny caricatures during a short visit. After 67 minutes of observation, Nénette seems stuck in a dreamlike limbo, disconnected from the world, going through the motions, waiting patiently to die.

January 27, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Philibert's film finds a rather contemplative creature. Her mood complements his.

January 20, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Nenette

This documentary about an elderly orangutan both benefits and suffers from being composed solely of shots of the apes from outside their cage. It both humanizes and distances us from the apes. The flat visual style is distracting from the apes' inherent beauty. By only shooting the apes from outside the glass mostly from the same angle, it puts a strange distance between subject & audience.

Matthew Lucas
Matthew Lucas

Super Reviewer

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