Less ambitious than “To Be and to Have,” though with a wider scope, “Let’s Say … ” significantly improves on the “Kids Say the Darndest Things” format by having tots from different French regions act out their parents’ work days, reinforcing the notion that a kid’s brain is the most unpredictable of sponges. No doubt the producers hope to tap into the same market that drove earlier docu onto global charts, and, while Francoise Marie crafts a real charmer, prospects may be slightly reduced though pic is likely to find a toe-hold in arthouses and will play beautifully on Euro cable.

Following up on her short “Petites histoires de reins du tout,” in which sick children engage in role-playing games, Marie has kids improvise their parents’ activities on the job. First seen arranging pictograms representing life’s necessities in order of importance, she then asks them individually to describe their parents’ jobs, and finally, with delightful painted flats, has them create skits based on those occupations. These include farmers, doctors, policemen and circus performers, all imagined with perspicacity and humor. Shot on 35mm rather than expected digital, visuals are rich and sharp.

Let’s Say. . .


  • Production: A Les Films de la Boissiere, Messina Films, Marie Galante Prods., Sceren-CNDP production, with the participation of TPS Star. (International sales: Pyramide Intl., Paris.) Produced by Annie Miller. Executive producer, Samuel Amar. Directed by Francoise Marie. Written by Fanny Picon, based on an idea by Marie.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Gerard de Battista, Pierre Boffety; editors, Laure Blancherie, Christiane Lack; music, Leon Milo; production designer, Valerie Rauchbach; sound (Dolby SR), Jean-Luc Audy, Thomas Hardy, Regis Ramadour. Reviewed at Rome Film Festival (Cinema 2007/Alice in the City), Oct. 20, 2007. Running time: 80 MIN.
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