Tales from the Zoo

(French dialogue)

(French dialogue)

Aborderline kidpic set during the final months of Nazi-occupied Paris, “Tales from the Zoo” is an effectively realized but ultra-slim slice of whimsy that’s likely to segue rapidly to the small screen even on home turf France. A co-production with Hungary, with Budapest repping a not-so-gay Paree, yarn about a young girl’s hero worship of her dead father doesn’t bring much new to the World War II table.

Eight-year-old tyke Philippine (an assured Salomee Stevenin) lives with her father and grandparents. When Dad is executed one night by Germans, grandfather Fernand (Claude Rich) constructs an elaborate fiction to make her believe Dad is still alive and fully functioning as a Resistance hero.

Tale springs an interesting twist halfway through, with Philippine discovering the old man’s ruse and being talked into playing along by her grandmother. Thereon, the focus shifts equally to Fernand, who has his own (paternal) reasons for building a heroic rep for his cowardly son.

Within its own proscribed limits, the movie is smoothly directed by veteran Philippe de Broca and competently acted by its Gallic leads. As the young girl, Stevenin is poised without being bratty, with Rich amiable as her granddad. Hungarian locations are not so persuasive for wartime Paris, though Magyar lenser Janos Kende’s work is solidly pro. Charles Court’s lyrical score bathes the pic in a warm glow.

Title stems from the fact that Rich’s character is head of the Paris Zoo.

Tales from the Zoo

(FRENCH-HUNGARIAN)

Production: A Son et Lumiere, TF1, Canal Plus (France)/Mafilm, Maecenas Film, Magyar Televizio (Hungary) production. Executive producer, Alain Clert. Directed, written by Philippe de Broca.

Crew: Camera (color), Janos Kende; editor, Marie-Claude Lacambre; music, Charles Court; art direction, Francois de Lamothe, Tamas Banovich; costume design, Sophie Marcou; sound, Bruno Charier; assistant director, Pascal Mons. Reviewed at Hungarian Film Week, Budapest, Feb. 6, 1995. Running time: 98 MIN.

With: With: Claude Rich, Salomee Stevenin, Samuel Labarthe, Catherine Jacob, Zoltan Gera, Tamas Dunai, Janos Kulka, Janos Szikora, Istvan Hunyadkurty.

More Film

  • Durban FilmMart Celebrates Women as Industry

    Durban FilmMart Celebrates Women as Industry Still Struggles With Transformation

    (French dialogue) Aborderline kidpic set during the final months of Nazi-occupied Paris, “Tales from the Zoo” is an effectively realized but ultra-slim slice of whimsy that’s likely to segue rapidly to the small screen even on home turf France. A co-production with Hungary, with Budapest repping a not-so-gay Paree, yarn about a young girl’s hero […]

  • MayFair, directed by Sara Blecher

    Sara Blecher’s ‘Mayfair’ Brings Feminine Gaze to Gangster Tale

    (French dialogue) Aborderline kidpic set during the final months of Nazi-occupied Paris, “Tales from the Zoo” is an effectively realized but ultra-slim slice of whimsy that’s likely to segue rapidly to the small screen even on home turf France. A co-production with Hungary, with Budapest repping a not-so-gay Paree, yarn about a young girl’s hero […]

  • Todd Brown, XYZ Films

    African Finance Under Spotlight at Durban FilmMart  

    (French dialogue) Aborderline kidpic set during the final months of Nazi-occupied Paris, “Tales from the Zoo” is an effectively realized but ultra-slim slice of whimsy that’s likely to segue rapidly to the small screen even on home turf France. A co-production with Hungary, with Budapest repping a not-so-gay Paree, yarn about a young girl’s hero […]

  • Ryan Reynolds'Deadpool' panel, Comic-Con International, San

    Ryan Reynolds Wants to Explore Deadpool's Bisexuality in Future Films

    (French dialogue) Aborderline kidpic set during the final months of Nazi-occupied Paris, “Tales from the Zoo” is an effectively realized but ultra-slim slice of whimsy that’s likely to segue rapidly to the small screen even on home turf France. A co-production with Hungary, with Budapest repping a not-so-gay Paree, yarn about a young girl’s hero […]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9243328q)From

    Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Restaurant Critic, Dies at 57

    (French dialogue) Aborderline kidpic set during the final months of Nazi-occupied Paris, “Tales from the Zoo” is an effectively realized but ultra-slim slice of whimsy that’s likely to segue rapidly to the small screen even on home turf France. A co-production with Hungary, with Budapest repping a not-so-gay Paree, yarn about a young girl’s hero […]

  • Johnny Depp Amber Heard

    Johnny Depp, Amber Heard Appear Moments Apart at WB's Comic-Con Panel

    (French dialogue) Aborderline kidpic set during the final months of Nazi-occupied Paris, “Tales from the Zoo” is an effectively realized but ultra-slim slice of whimsy that’s likely to segue rapidly to the small screen even on home turf France. A co-production with Hungary, with Budapest repping a not-so-gay Paree, yarn about a young girl’s hero […]

  • Patty Jenkins, Chris Pine and Gal

    'Wonder Woman 1984' Team Talks '80s Setting, Chris Pine's Resurrection

    (French dialogue) Aborderline kidpic set during the final months of Nazi-occupied Paris, “Tales from the Zoo” is an effectively realized but ultra-slim slice of whimsy that’s likely to segue rapidly to the small screen even on home turf France. A co-production with Hungary, with Budapest repping a not-so-gay Paree, yarn about a young girl’s hero […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content