A pint-sized, Christmas-loving illegal immigrant and an adult son whose marriage is a shambles demand the undivided attention of an elderly couple in “My Heroes,” from Gallic scribe and occasional helmer Eric Besnard (“Cash”). A cast of beloved comedians, including Josiane Balasko (“The Hedgehog”), Gerard Jugnot (“The Chorus”) and Clovis Cornillac (Asterix in “Asterix at the Olympic Games”), adds a glow of human warmth to a feather-light story whose cockle-warming capacity seems well suited to the pic’s blue-rinse target aud. Local December opening was solid, which bodes well for ancillary.Maxime (Cornillac) is too busy with his ailing ambulance business to notice his marriage is going down the drain. His busybody mother (Balasko) worries about him, though she’s swamped with her hands-on approach to her sickly, bullheaded hubby (Jugnot) and her political activism, which extends to hiding young Tiemoko (Ibrahim Burama Darboe) from the authorities at her picturesque countryside home. Sentimental yet never syrupy, the pic finds the right, perceptive tone for Besnard’s semiautobiographical material. Production and costume designers have a ball with Tiemoko’s Yuletide obsession, though the tale is set in an early fall as imagined by Thomas Kinkade.
A Pathe Distribution release of an Eskwad production, in association with Pathe, Josy Films, Malec Prod., with the participation of Canal Plus, Cine Plus. (International sales: Pathe Intl., Paris.) Produced by Richard Grandpierre. Co-producer, Romain Le Grand. Directed, written by Eric Besnard.
Camera (color), Jean-Marie Dreujou; editor, Christophe Pinel; music, Christophe Julien; production designer, Bertrand Seitz; costume designer, Madeline Fontaine; sound (Dolby Digital), Marc-Antoine Beldent; associate producer, Vivien Aslanian; line producer, Frederic Doniguian; assistant director, Mathieu Howlett; casting, David Bertrand. Reviewed at UGC Cine Cite Les Halles, Paris, Dec. 19, 2012. Running time: 87 MIN.
Josiane Balasko, Gerard Jugnot, Clovis Cornillac, Ibrahim Burama Darboe, Pierre Richard, Magaly Berdy, Anne Charrier, Joseph Besnard, Fejria Deliba.