The Thorn in the Heart (2010)
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.
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Critic Reviews for The Thorn in the Heart
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...
Brimming with affection and beautifully shot, but it builds a flimsy case for why it matters.
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 familyâ(TM)s interest, but youâ(TM)re not sure why he thought it would pique ours.
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.
Audience Reviews for The Thorn in the Heart
Michel Gondry thought that his Aunt's life would make an interesting documentary. It doesn't.
"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.
This was an inspiring little documentary about Michel's Gondry's aunt Suzette and other members of his family. I felt like a voyeur watching it. The opening scene of the family sharing a meal had me doubled over, loud in a laughing fit. I was caught-up in a story about kraut and antacids. The rest, sprinkled with rudimentary, but colorful special effects, was personal, and almost far from boring. Suzette reminisces with the voice of a poet and the wit of a mind set far from being asleep and apart from the world. I see why Gondry made her the centerpiece for his project. She is an engine for the wheels which carry his family along with pride.
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