My Life as a Courgette

My Life as a Courgette (French: Ma vie de Courgette; also titled My Life as a Zucchini) is a 2016 stop-motion animated comedy-drama film directed by Claude Barras.[4] It was screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.[5][6]

My Life as a Courgette
My Life as a Zucchini.jpg
Theatrical release poster
FrenchMa vie de Courgette
Directed byClaude Barras
Written byCéline Sciamma
Claude Barras
Germano Zullo
Morgan Navarro
Based onAutobiographie d'une Courgette
by Gilles Paris
Produced byArmelle Glorennec
Éric Jacquot
Marc Bonny
CinematographyDavid Toutevoix
Edited byValentin Rotelli
Music bySophie Hunger
Distributed byPraesens-Film (Switzerland)
Gébéka Films (France)
Release date
  • 15 May 2016 (2016-05-15) (Cannes)
  • 22 September 2016 (2016-09-22) (Switzerland)
  • 19 October 2016 (2016-10-19) (France)
Running time
65 minutes[1]
Budget$8 million[2]
Box office$5.6 million[3]

This is the second adaptation of Gilles Paris' 2002 novel Autobiographie d'une Courgette, as there was a French live-action television film adaptation called C'est mieux la vie quand on est grand which aired in 2007.[7]

The film, received acclaim for its emotional tone and story, and was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Film at the 89th Academy Awards.[8] It was also selected as the Swiss entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, making the December shortlist.[9]


Set in Switzerland in the 2010s, Icare lives with his mother who has become an alcoholic after Icare's father abandoned their family. One day when his mom comes after him in a drunken rage, Icare accidentally pushes her down the stairs, causing her death. Later on, Icare makes a deposition to Police Officer Raymond. He informs him that he prefers to be called "Courgette", his mother's nickname for him. As mementos, he keeps one of his mom's beer cans and a kite he made with a drawing of his father as a superhero.

Raymond brings Courgette to an orphanage. Simon, one of the kids there, initially picks on Courgette and tries to force him to say what happened to his parents. After a fight over the kite, Simon warms up to Courgette and explains that he's the one who knows about all the kids' backgrounds. He then points out the backstories of the other kids, whose parents are either deceased or, as in Simon's case, in trouble with the law. Courgette then tells him about what happened to his own mother.

One day, a new girl named Camille arrives and Courgette develops a crush on her at first sight. Simon and Courgette sneak a look at her files and find that she had witnessed her father murder her mother for cheating on him, and then kill himself. Camille does have a living aunt, but she is a spiteful woman who wants custody of Camille only for the money she'll get in taking her in. Courgette and Camille start to bond during an overnight vacation at a snow resort, where he refashions his mom's beer can into a toy boat for her.

Courgette grows close to Officer Raymond as he regularly sends letters and drawings to him. Raymond plans to spend a holiday with Courgette, on the same weekend that Camille is supposed to spend with her aunt. Camille stows away in Raymond's car instead. Raymond reluctantly agrees to bring both kids to the outing. The three have fun at an amusement park and return to Raymond's house, where Raymond reveals that he has a son that never talks to him. Camille's aunt suddenly appears and angrily takes Camille away.

A few weeks later comes the custody meeting with the judge. There, Camille reveals that Simon had sneaked an MP3 player into her toy boat that she's used to record her aunt insulting her mom and yelling at her. The aunt loses her temper at Camille right in front of the judge, destroying her bid for custody.

Raymond finally decides to take both Courgette and Camille in as foster children. Simon is initially angry, but he ultimately coaxes a reluctant Courgette to go with Raymond. Raymond takes some group photos of the kids before he leaves with Courgette and Camille. While living with Raymond, Courgette still writes letters to the kids at the orphanage, maintaining that he, Camille and Raymond are people that still love them all. Courgette now keeps a group photo of the kids on his kite.


Character French English
Courgette Gaspard Schlatter Erick Abbate
Camille Sixtine Murat Ness Krell
Simon Paulin Jaccound Romy Beckman
Raymond Michel Vuillermoz Nick Offerman
Ahmed Paul Ribera Barry Mitchell
Alice Estelle Hennard Clara Young
Jujube Elliot Sanchez Finn Robbins
Béatrice Lou Wick Olivia Bucknor
Tante Ida Brigitte Rosset Amy Sedaris
Courgette's Mother Natacha Koutchoumov Susanne Blakeslee
Mme Papineau Monica Budde
Mr. Paul Adrien Barazzone Will Forte
Rosy Véronique Montel Elliot Page


Critical responseEdit

The film has a rating of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 135 reviews, with an average rating of 8.20/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "My Life as a Zucchini's silly title and adorable characters belie a sober story whose colorful visuals delight the senses even as it braves dark emotional depths."[10] On Metacritic, the film received a rating of 85 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[11]


List of awards and nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Academy Awards 26 February 2017 Best Animated Feature Claude Barras
Max Karli
Nominated [12]
Annie Awards 4 February 2017 Best Animated Feature — Independent Rita Productions
Blue Spirit Productions
Gebeka Films
Outstanding Achievement, Directing in an Animated Feature Production Claude Barras
Outstanding Achievement, Writing in an Animated Feature Production Céline Sciamma
2016 Annecy International Animated Film Festival 18 June 2016 Audience Award Claude Barras
Rita Productions
Blue Spirit Animation
Gébéka Films
Won [15]
Cristal Award for Best Feature Claude Barras
Rita Productions
Blue Spirit Animation
Gébéka Films
Cannes Film Festival 22 May 2016 Caméra d'Or Claude Barras Nominated
César Award 24 February 2017 Best Adapted Screenplay Céline Sciamma Won [16][17]
Best Animated Film Claude Barras
Best Original Music Sophie Hunger Nominated
European Film Awards 10 December 2016 Best Animated Feature Film Claude Barras
Kim Keukeleire
Armelle Glorennec
Éric Jacquot
Marc Bonny
Won [18]
European Parliament LUX Prize 23 November 2016 Lux Prize Claude Barras Nominated [19]
Golden Globe Awards 8 January 2017 Best Animated Feature Film Claude Barras [20]
Golden Tomato Awards 2017 3 January 2018 Best Animated Film My Life as a Courgette 3rd Place [21]
Lumières Awards 30 January 2017 Best Screenplay Céline Sciamma Won [22]
Best Animated Film Claude Barras
Best Music Sophie Hunger Nominated
Satellite Awards 18 December 2016 Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature My Life as a Zucchini Won [23]
Swiss Film Award 24 March 2017 Best Fiction Film(Bester Spielfilm) Claude Barras
Rita Productions
Best Music (Beste Filmmusik) Sophie Hunger
Best Editing (Beste Montage) Valentin Rotelli Nominated
Special Academy Award (For Casting) Marie-Eve Hildbrand Won
Tokyo Anime Award 17 March 2017 Grand Prize (Feature Film) Claude Barras Nominated [25]
Award of Excellence (Feature Film) Won

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "My Life as a Courgette". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  2. ^ "'My Life as a Zucchini': How a Swiss Stop-Motion Animated Film Became a Major Awards Contender". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Ma vie de Courgette (My Life as a Courgette))". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Animated film to represent Switzerland at Oscars". Swissinfo. 5 August 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Fortnight 2016: The 48th Directors' Fortnight Selection". Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  6. ^ Nancy Tartaglione (19 April 2016). "Cannes: Directors' Fortnight 2016 Lineup – Laura Poitras' 'Risk', Pablo Larrain's 'Neruda', Paul Schrader's 'Dog Eat Dog'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  7. ^ "C'est mieux la vie quand on est grand". Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  8. ^ "2017". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  9. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (5 August 2016). "Switzerland Sends Claude Barras's 'My Life as a Courgette' to Foreign-Language Oscar Race". Variety. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  10. ^ "My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de courgette) (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  11. ^ "My Life as a Zucchini Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  12. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (24 January 2017). "Oscars: 'La La Land' Ties Record With 14 Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 January 2017.[dead link]
  13. ^ "Oscar Nominations: Complete List". Variety. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  14. ^ "44th Annie Award Nominees". International Animated Film Society. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  15. ^ "'My Life as a Courgette' Takes Top Prize At Annecy Film Festival". Variety. 18 June 2016.
  16. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (25 January 2017). "'Elle,' 'Frantz,' 'Slack Bay' Lead Cesar Awards Nominations". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  17. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (24 February 2017). "César Awards Winners: 'Elle' Best Film, Isabelle Huppert Best Actress – Full List". Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  18. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (10 December 2016). "Maren Ade's 'Toni Erdmann' Sweeps 29th European Film Awards". Variety. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  19. ^ (, Deutsche Welle. "Critics' favorite 'Toni Erdmann' wins EU's Lux Film Prize - Film - DW.COM - 23.11.2016". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  20. ^ "2017 Golden Globes: full list of nominations". The Guardian. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  21. ^ "BEST-REVIEWED ANIMATED MOVIES 2017". Florida Film Critics Awards. 3 January 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  22. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (16 December 2016). "'Elle,' 'The Dancer,' 'Frantz,' 'Staying Vertical' Vie for Lumiere Awards". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  23. ^ "2016 Winners & Nominees - Categories - International Press Academy". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  24. ^ "'My Life As A Courgette' wins top prize at Swiss Film Awards". Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  25. ^ "Tokyo Anime Award Fest Winners". Retrieved 17 March 2017.

External linksEdit