This funny animated film, between burlesque and emotion, follows a little girl’s quest to find the chicken for a dish that her late father was preparing for her.
By Philippe Guedj
Ihe 47th Annecy International Animation Film Festival closes its doors this Saturday, June 17 and, after Le Petit Nicolas – what are we waiting for to be happy? last year, the 2023 edition awarded its Cristal for feature film to Linda wants chicken!, by Chiara Malta and Sébastien Laudenbach. A Franco-Italian co-production, this tender, lively and graphically offbeat chronicle of a city in turmoil around a volatile on the run, was a hit when it was screened this week in the large hall of the Espace Bonlieu.
The plot follows at full speed the misadventures of the child who gives his first name to the film. Traumatized by the death of her father when she was only one year old, Linda lives alone in a small suburban apartment with her mother Paulette who, one day, unjustly accuses her of having stolen a ring from her. To make up for it, she agrees to cook a chicken with peppers at her daughter’s request, one of the dishes – an outstanding cordon bleu, unlike Paulette – that their dear deceased loved to simmer. On this general strike day when all the shops in the neighborhood are closed, the young widow, on a whim, steals a gallinaceous from the farm. The theft will trigger a series of incredible events, especially when it comes to killing the animal.
READ ALSOAnnecy Festival: “Mars Express”, new pearl of French SFExpected in theaters on October 18, distributed by Gebeka Films (Forbidden to dogs and Italiansbut also the superb Mars Expressalso screened in competition at Annecy and to be discovered on November 22), Linda wants chicken! impressed the feature film jury with his poetry, his humor and his singular visual proposal: the characters seem to be scribbled in a childish style live before our eyes, each associated with bright colors which sometimes overflow from the black line, which becomes more precise or less depending on how close subjects are to the lens. Always in motion, turbulent like a schoolboy, the brilliant staging twirls around in the superb impressionist decors painted by visual artist Margaux Duseigneur. The theme, through this chicken-pretext, obviously touches on mourning, solidarity and the need to let life regain its rights despite the pain of the loss of a loved one.
“Linda wants chicken!” was extraordinarily applauded, it reminded me of what we had seen on “My life as a courgette” or “I lost my body”Marcel Jean, artistic director of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival
Often very funny in his gags as in his mischievous dialogues, Linda wants chicken! offers a charming family show, in the name of which we will therefore be careful not to fly in the feathers of an ambient ideology that is sometimes a little too showy: a fantasized look at the general strike, the cops necessarily caricatured and turned in an ass, reference to the beheading of Louis XVI during a course at school, cliché of an idyllic city… Let’s move on!
Artistic director of the Annecy festival, Marcel Jean welcomes the film’s victory in any case: “It’s a project that we have supported since its inception since it was presented during a pitch session in Annecy a few years ago, then last year in one of our Work In Progress sessions. It’s a film whose singularity has never been denied, whether it’s about its subject or its aesthetics with this extremely strong chromatic palette developed by Chiara and Sébastien”.
wish to Linda wants chicken! a happier theatrical career than the previous Annecy Grand Prix, Le Petit Nicolas – What are we waiting for to be happy?, which had peaked in 2022 at 340,138 admissions in France. ” I adore The little Nicolas, but we always wondered about the difficulties that this film would have in finding its target”, recognizes Marcel Jean. “The fact that the plot included a documentary aspect of the relationship between Sempé and Goscinny interfered with the concept of a story for young audiences, and this tension was never resolved. In the case of Linda wants chicken!, I don’t see any such tension and we can hope for a better commercial reception. The evening of its screening, the film was in any case extraordinarily applauded, it reminded me of what we had seen on my zucchini life Or I lost my body “.
Record attendance despite the June 8 tragedy
A total of 22 official prizes were awarded by 11 different juries during the evening, thus closing a resilient 47th edition, after having started on June 11 in a climate tarnished by the tragic knife attack, which occurred three days earlier opposite of Lake Annecy: ” More than ever, Annecy deserves its status as the world capital of animated cinema. This new participation record is the symbol of the recognition and trust of professionals. It is a community which does not imagine missing this meeting and which shows us its attachment, a few days after the events which upset the city » welcomes in a press release Mickael Marin, director of FIFA.
Attendance in 2023 marks a new peak (with a total of 15,820 accredited members, up 19% compared to 2022 according to figures provided by the Festival) and the event continues to push back the walls to welcome everyone: “ Reorganizations and the addition of new reception structures will be necessary, we do not rule out a cap on accredited members next year, but it is a complex file, which includes the study of hotel capacities in the equation and which requires an analysis that we will conduct this year,” concludes Marcel Jean. See you in 2024, where the animation industry in the spotlight, after Mexico this year, will be that of Portugal.
The 2023 Annecy Festival feature film awards
- Feature Film Crystal: Linda wants chicken! of Chiara MALTA and Sébastien LAUDENBACH (France/Italy)
- Jury Prize: Four Souls of Coyote of Áron GAUDER (Hungary)
- Paul Grimault Prize: The Tunnel to Summer of Tomohisa TAGUCHI (Japan)
- Gan Foundation Award for Broadcasting: Linda wants chicken! by Chiara MALTA and Sébastien LAUDENBACH (France/Italy)
- Reverse Shot Grand Prize: Robot Dreamsby Pablo BERGER (Spain/France)
- Reverse shot jury prize: Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light by Filip POŠIVAČ (Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia)
- Audience award: Sirocco and the Kingdom of Drafts by Benoît CHIEUX (Belgium/France)