© Happy Entertainment c/o MT Trading UG / 24 Bilder Film GmbH

Es sind die kleinen Dinge (Les Petites Victoires)
France 2023

Opening 18 Apr 2024

Directed by: Mélanie Auffret
Writing credits: Mélanie Auffret, Romain Compingt, Yoann Gromb, Michaël Souhaité
Principal actors: Michel Blanc, Julia Piaton, Lionel Abelanski, Marie Bunel, India Hair

Alice (Julia Piaton) is the mayor of a small village of four hundred residents in the French Bretagne. She also teaches grade school. Suddenly, she has an additional pupil: Émilie Menoux. Normally, not a problem—now this is a real problem. Émilie is over sixty-five, wants to learn how to read and write, and doesn’t fit in with a row of seven-to-eight-year-olds. Sadly, his brother Christian, who had always helped him with written problems, has passed away. Can Alice convince him to leave? Perhaps take private lessons? But then her problems grow: her school is in danger of closing, due to lack of students. Alice attempts to cheat on the list of students by copying names from gravestones. Parallel there is another problem for the mayor: several men in the village are turning a bakery into a pub.

Alice, teacher and the village mayor, rides around on her bicycle. We meet a few of the other villagers such as an older lady, Jeannine, a photographer Saturnin, and Alice’s sister Pauline with whom she spends Christmas. There is also a rabbit. I do wonder how Émilie was able to get his driver’s license, not knowing how to read or write, perhaps also with help from Christian. In this feel-good movie about people helping each other, the children are the greatest talent and highlight of the film, as well as actress Julia Piaton. The title translates literally to “It’s the Small Things (that Count)” and was well received in its original country of France. (Becky Tan)

The theaters below show films in their original language; click on the links for showtimes and ticket information.
Interviews with the stars, general film articles, and reports on press conferences and film festivals.
Subscribe to the free KinoCritics monthly email newsletter here.