LE PRINCE OUBLIÉ
by Michel Hazanavicius
2020 | 101 min
Comedy, adventure | France, Belgium | French (English subtitles) | 9 years of age and older
Cast: Omar Sy, François Damiens, Bérénice Bejo, Sarah Gaye, Keyla Fala, Bénédicte Mbemba, Néotis Ronzon, Philippe Vieux, Philippe Uchan, Philippe Hérisson, Mustapha Abourachid, Warren Zavatta, Olivier Merle, Eye Haïdara
Djibi is a single father whose life entirely revolves around his beloved 8-year-old daughter Sofia. Every night, during their cherished bedtime stories ritual, he takes her to “Storyland”, a fantasy film studio where their extraordinary fairy-tale adventures come to life, starring Djibi as the heroic Prince Charming. Three years later and nearly a teenager, Sofia starts growing out of her father’s stories and making up tales of her own, where Djibi no longer plays the lead role. Djibi must find a way to forever remain the hero of his daughter’s life and stories.
French Film Festival UK (Great Britain, 2020)
Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris (2020)
Sy provides an affectionate portrayal of a big goofball who might well embarrass his offspring, while Gaye displays an unusual maturity and directness for a juvenile lead. The sense of a family affair is bolstered by the presence of Hazanavicius’ wife Bérénice Bejo as a helpful neighbour.
— The Guardian
A touching tale. A simple but well put together scenario. A refreshing poetic treatment, thwarting all cynicism. Quality interpretation. With Le Prince oublié, Michel Hazanavicius ((OSS 117, L’Artiste, Le Redoutable) once again shows his taste for risky projects. His moving tale alternates scenes from everyday family life and fanciful intrigues in a metaphorical universe with flashy colors and kitsch movie sets. Yet, by favouring a refreshing poetic treatment devoid of any cynicism, the filmmaker avoids all the pitfalls of ridicule. And manages to make captivating a narrative that could fit in a line, thanks to chiseled writing and well-drawn characters, championed by an excellent cast. The special effects are worthy of the best Hollywood movies, with emotion and a very French humour on top of it.
— Media Film (translated from French)
Omar Sy, as an abandoned dad, Bérénice Bejo, as a lonely bachelor, and François Damiens as a phoney two-bit felon, are in the right place. Michel Hazanavicius makes his universe plausible and his special effects are up to the task. For his music, he also calls on Howard Shore, the composer for David Cronenberg and The Lord of the Rings.
— France Info (translated from French)
Le Prince oublié reminds us of La Boum, also about the transition to adolescence, especially since a surprise party is at the heart of both films. But Hazanavicius adds a reflection on the exit from childhood through the loss of one's imaginary world. An imaginary world that he identifies with cinema, where filmmakers and actors are grown-up children who, according to Orson Welles, play with a big electric train set as they are making a film.
This comedy about a father confronting his growing daughter flirts with the fantastic in an original way.
— 20 Minutes (translated from French)
Michel Hazanavicius signs a pretty tale about adolescence and the relationship between father and daughter.
— CNews (translated from French)
It is above all a family film about the universal dimension of a touching father-daughter relationship, with an Omar Sy in a role that resembles him.
— Le Journal du Dimanche (translated from French)
In the middle of colourful sets and dazzling special effects, the father-daughter couple proves to be very touching.
— Le Parisien (translated from French)
Somewhere between The Princess Bride and Inside Out, with a dash of Degrassi Junior High tossed in for teen angst purposes, this latest feature from The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius is both a coming-of-age story set just outside Paris and a meta-fictional take on the kind of family-friendly fantasies usually made by The Walt Disney Company.
— Hollywood Reporter