The Butterfly (Le papillon)


The Butterfly (Le papillon)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 20


Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,771
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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) worries that her daughter has been kidnapped.


Nade Dieu
as Isabelle
Francoise Michaud
as Cafe Waitress
Helen Hily
as Marguerite, the Concierge
Pierre Poirot
as Police Commissioner
Jacky Nercessian
as The Other Police Officer
Jacques Bouanich
as Sebastien's Father
Catherine Cyler
as Sebastien's Mother
Jerry Lucas
as Sebastien
Dominique Marcas
as Sebastien's Grandmother
Idwig Stephane
as Entomologist
Francis Frappat
as Geometrician
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Critic Reviews for The Butterfly (Le papillon)

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (4)

  • The film has a sweetness that stops short of sentimentality.

    Jun 4, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Mar 26, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • An exceptionally satisfying film of much grace and beauty.

    Mar 18, 2004 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Mar 18, 2004 | Full Review…
  • Depending on your perspective, this French family drama will either feel sweetly sentimental or shamelessly manipulative.

    Jan 2, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • 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.

    Dec 23, 2003

Audience Reviews for The Butterfly (Le papillon)

  • Dec 06, 2010
    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!
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • May 17, 2010
    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!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Aug 26, 2009
    It's an average movie with likebale story with likeable character I think.. I'm enjoying this movie very much..
    Cita W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 07, 2007
    I was flicking over to this movie on SBS while watching a movie I had already seen and liked screening on another channel. Eventually I didn't flick back to the other film. Surprisingly sweet. Claire Bouanich is by far the best child actress I have seen, even though I can't speak French.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer

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