Michel Gondry is a filmmaker known for breaking new ground — be it in the world of commercial advertising, directing music videos for the likes of Bjork and The White Stripes, or helming imaginative features like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Dave Chapelle’s Block Party, or the upcoming The Green Hornet. Gondry’s newest film, THE THORN IN THE HEART (L'Epine dans le Coeur), further propels his filmography into the realm of the unvisted with a personal look at the life of Gondry family matriarch, his aunt Suzette Gondry, and her relationship with her son, Jean—Yves. Michel examines Suzette’s years as a schoolteacher and her life in rural France. During the course of filming the documentary, new family stories are unearthed and Michel uses his camera to explore them in a subtle and sensitive way. THE THORN IN THE HEART had its world premiere screening in the official selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
As Mr. Gondry unfolds the story of her life, and of her inability to connect with the son she sees as weak, you can understand why it would consume a familya(TM)s interest, but youa(TM)re not sure why he thought it would pique ours.Mike Hale, New York Times, 06.24.2010
You can see that he meant it to be a toasty slice of nostalgia - and for Gondry, it surely is. For us, The Thorn in the Heart is more like a home movie of a family reunion we weren't invited to.Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, 06.24.2010
Inevitably smaller-scaled than his mind-bendingly creative features, this moving but far from revelatory portrait of a beloved family figure registers as too slight and personal for significant theatrical play.Justin Chang, Variety, 06.24.2010
This is an extraordinary film.David Edelstein, New York Magazine, 06.24.2010