A film by Céline Sciamma

Cast : Gabrielle SANZ, Joséphine SANZ, Nina MEURISSE, Margot ABASCAL, Stéphane VARUPENNE

2021 / drama / 72’ / Color / status : completed / General Audience / long feature-film / All Rights / International collections

8-year-old Nelly has just lost her beloved grandmother and is helping her parents clean out her mother’s childhood home. She explores the house and the surrounding woods where her mom, Marion, used to play and built the treehouse she’s heard so much about. One day her mother abruptly leaves. That’s when Nelly meets a girl her own age in the woods building a treehouse. Her name is Marion.


“Spellbinding... A moving jewel of a film about memory, friendship and kin... Céline Sciamma’s beautiful fairytale reverie is occasioned by the dual mysteries of memory and the future: simple, elegant and very moving. An artistic masterstroke on Sciamma’s part. What a superb movie – a jewel of this year’s Berlin film festival.”

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Peter Bradshaw The Guardian

“A piercingly satisfying chamber drama with a lovely intimate feel. An arrestingly original and alive creation that offers acute observations and unexpected grace notes.”

Todd McCarthy, Deadline

“Céline Sciamma returns with a poetic, touching vision of childhood and mothering in the throes of grief. Haunting and extremely touching. A deeply imaginative film. Moving, original and stimulating, and beautifully open to interpretation.”

Dave Calhoun, Time Out

“Impeccably directed and carefully structured… A beautiful ode to mother-daughter love and a melancholy acknowledgment of the distance that always exists in that relationship, when both parties are separated by age and responsibility... Sciamma delivers one of her warmest, most hopeful endings to date.”

Orla Smith, The Film Stage

“Captivating and deeply affecting... A filmmaker at the top of their game.”

Adam Woodward, Little White Lies

“Sciamma’s jewel-like Petite Maman finds the filmmaker literally returning to her roots for another exquisite coming-of-age story about a young girl on the precipice of some new self-understanding. A wise and delicate wisp of a movie. For 72 minutes, everyone can hear each other as clearly as if they were speaking to themselves. If only it could last forever.”

David Ehrlich, Indiewire

“Wonderfully intuitive... Playful without being twee. Sciamma has made a film that children can also appreciate on their own level. An 8-year-old makes a special connection, and so will audiences.”

Peter Debruge, Variety

“A beautiful and mysterious excursion into child's play. Could have been a Miyazaki fantasy. Sciamma is a gifted director of children [who] has always shown impeccable skill at illuminating her characters, and Petite Maman is a beguiling continuation of her work in its purest form.”

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

“A thing of pensive beauty. Its gentle appeal and teasing sense of mystery should chime with audiences for whom Sciamma’s name is a key selling point, both in further festival berths and within a theatrical release. Claire Mathon’s lithe cinematography evokes a timeless, suspended moment of connection between the two lives.”

Wendy Ide, Screen