Latest International News

Review / “Les Petites Victoires” (2022) by Mélanie Auffret


Les Petites Victoires by Mélanie Auffret was released in theaters on March 1. The film with Julia Piaton and Michel Blanc talks about rurality in a small village whose school is threatened with closure. Criticism and opinion of Bulles de Culture.


Between her obligations as mayor and her role as a teacher in the small village of Kerguen, Alice’s days (Julia Piaton) are already full. The arrival in his class of Emile (Michael White), a sexagenarian with an explosive character, finally decided to learn to read and write, will make his daily life unmanageable. Especially since Alice, who hadn’t seen it coming, will also have to save her village and her school…

The small victories : light on rurality

“Somme: when customers mobilize to save the last café in the village”: this is what it was possible to read recently in the news feed of the France Info website. Anodyne news? This is what one might think from an urban point of view…

However, this information shows to what extent these innocuous meeting places are essential for small villages increasingly plagued by desertification. The director Melanie Auffret perfectly grasps the stakes and proposes, in The small victories, to highlight rurality, not from the angle of a drama like Édouard Bergeon in Au nom de la terre, but through a comedy full of human warmth. She recounts in a light stroke the difficulties of a protagonist who combines roles: on the one hand, a school teacher teaching in a one-class establishment threatened with closure; on the other, the mayor receiving the grievances of his constituents who are in constant need of attention.

small victories film review review01
© ADNP – Zinc – France 3 Cinema – Photo Stéphanie Branchu

Michel Blanc, bogeyman

The comedy is certainly based on a succession of predictable situations, which lack credibility: a pensioner who sits unexpectedly on the school benches, an inspector prevented from checking the school because of the presence… of cows. However, the film manages to project itself effectively into the daily life of a small Breton town where, ultimately, we could see ourselves living.

In the role of caricatural bogeyman, Michael White turns out to be a touching father figure, spokesperson for a population affected by the shame of illiteracy. Julia Piatonmeanwhile, nicely shows a double-edged personality – combative to keep a discouraged population motivated, and emotionally fragile…

small victories film review review01
© ADNP – Zinc – France 3 Cinema – Photo Stéphanie Branchu

Our opinion ?

Behind this light comedy, there is the sad reality of the desertification of small French villages. The small victories certainly lacks originality, but largely compensates by its sensitivity and its two endearing actors.

Learn more:

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More