MY LITTLE PRINCESS
My Little Princess is a 2011 French-Romanian drama film directed by Eva Ionesco and inspired by her relationship with her mother, the well-known artistic photographer Irina Ionesco whose pictures of her young daughter aroused discussions when they were first published back in the 1970´s. The film illustrates a situation which at first glance seems to be a paradox; whilst revealing more and more of her daughter to the public the mother seems to get increasingly estranged from her and vice versa.
Violetta is raised by her grandmother “Mamie”, the French equivalent of “Grandma”. Her mother Hanna tries to make a living by taking photographs and concentrates on her dream to one day become famous and in order to succeed as an artist she doesn’t worry about dating men of questionable reputation. Only every now and then her mother visits her daughter; but during these occasions it occurs to her that her daughter could be a potential model and she starts to exploit her daughter by transforming her into a kind of Lolita with the result that she becomes increasingly alienated from other children of her age.
At school she is frequently insulted and rejected and when Mamie dies, Hanna’s photographs unequivocally overstep the line of acceptability which leads to her even coercing Violetta mercilessly into cooperation by withholding her food in case she doesn’t agree to pose for increasingly daring photographs. Eventually Hanna’s right of custody for her twelve-year-old daughter is at stake.
¨ Anamaria Vartolomei was convincing as a young girl whose life eventually turns into a nightmare because of her mother’s artistic ambitions in 1970´s Paris.¨ – Focus Magazine
Painful personal experience is distilled into poignant drama in Eva Ionesco’s promising first feature My Little Princess. Autobiographical events from the 1970´s are shaped into a fairy-tale like narrative illuminating the abusive nature of Ionesco’s relationship with her mother Irina and eternal arguments over the limits of artistic freedom.
Critics commented that Anamaria Vartolomei and Isabelle Huppert had portrayed the lack of affection so convincingly that they were accused of interacting insufficiently as actors. Regarding this, Huppert told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview that the shooting of the film had been one of her more peculiar professional experiences because on the set she had had the feeling she was indeed the director’s mother.
Whatever your sentiments are from this film, the ethereal-esque cinematography and outstanding styling by Catherine Baba will have you applauding this film for all the wrong reasons.
Article: Charles Daniel McDonald / IMDb
Film: My Little Princess (2011) Copyright Eva Ionesco