FilmLoverss’s review published on Letterboxd:
Review by Esen Tan
The shelter created by this mother and daughter as they become friends, the games that they play, the courage they gain while confiding in each other eventually turns into a story that Sciamma manages to keep away from male repression. While trying to compensate the absence of the mother, the father who is the only male character in the movie, confesses that he used to be scared of his father during a conversation that was started when Nelly demands to talk about "real and scary things" about his childhood. This fear with it's huge baggage keeps lingering over the movie as a confession, but instead of weighing down the movie, it actually underlines that the fear Sciamma is focusing on is the fear of losing.
In this world that contains story within a story, game within a game, mourning within a mourning, Nelly with her growing feeling of guilt, learns that she isn't responsible for everything that is hurting her mother. Petite maman builds layers of made up universes in this made up universe that we are watching and creates a new layer of time where Nelly and Marion are free of agism, hierarchy and the ordinary stories of the real world. A layer of time that is very much real, where they can feed, heal and listen each other in their new house and where they even say goodbye without hurting each other and get rid of the things that scares them. The cinema that Celine Sciamma aims to construct with Petite maman is the place where our mothers never leave us.
full article: filmloverss.com/petite-maman/