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The Painting

So I've been teaching myself French. I'm still nowhere near fluent, but I'm picking things up. I use Duolingo and Coffee Break French, and I also wanted to try and find some French-language children's programming on Netflix.

Turns out pickin's are pretty slim on Netflix. But I did find one movie that was purported to be for children ages 11-12, and it was called The Painting. In English, anyway. In French it's Le Tableau. Well, the characters spoke too fast for me to keep up. As a language-learning tool, it was kind of a bust. I need something for younger children.

But as a film, I found it totally charming. It's colorful, imaginative, and delightfully strange. And I was impressed by how it refused to talk down to its audience. This was ostensibly for 11 to 12 year olds, but it had some (animated) nudity and didn't seem the least bit squeamish with sexuality. The main themes are class struggle, prejudice, and the search for God (the movie is unabashedly deist, if that sort of thing matters to you).

It's only 80 minutes long, so if you're looking for something different and aren't averse to subtitles, I heartily recommend it. It's not a perfect film, but it is a fairly unique one with a decidedly non-American sensibility to it. And very, very charming. Or, if you will, c'est très, très charmant.

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