“Mirette is the perfect feel good movie!”
What did you want to become when you were younger? A firefighter? Doctor? Journalist? Well, if you would ask that same question to Mirette, she would say a high-wire walker. It’s all about that little girl in Mirette, the new Helen O’Hanlon film that’s based on the book Mirette on the High Wire, written by Emily Arnold McCully. Just like the book, the movie tells a very open, funny and spontaneous story. With wonderful performances, Mirette is a movie you need to put on your “movies to-watch” list.
Mirette (wonderfully performed by Dixie Egerickx) lives and works alongside her grandmother Mémé Gâteau (the as-ever brilliant Miriam Margolyes), who runs a boarding house in France where most of the time you can find circus artists performing. Such as showgirls, clowns and fortune tellers. A very vibrant and funny atmosphere is filling the house every night. One night a mysterious visitor named Bellini (Jean-Marc Desmond) arrives. The day after his arrival, Mirette discovers him walking on the washing lines that he uses as a tightrope. Mirette is so intrigued by him and his act, that she’s determined to learn to walk as well. Learn a new skill comes with pain, overcoming that and continuing until you succeed. That’s exactly what Mirette does. She never gives up hope and soon she manages one singular crossing. Bellini, who was sceptical about all of this at the beginning, agrees on helping her becoming even better. A unique and loyal friendship is happening until Mirette discovers a secret from Bellini’s past.
You haven’t seen the first shot of the movie but yet thanks to the music you already know that the film will be a very easy going, lively and playful film. It’s the kind of music that will cheer you up every time you hear it. When it comes with an amazing cinematography, you won’t be able to keep your eyes off the screen for one single second. We came out of the screening with a big smile and we’re sure you will experience the exact same thing. Of course, it’s not only the combination between wonderful music and very colourful cinematography that gives you a happy feeling ; it’s also the spot acting performance. We’re absolutely sure that we’ll see more from Dixie Egerickx (Genius, The Watcher in the Woods) because she’s superb as the young, naïve girl who’s dreaming big. From the second BAFTA Award winner Miriam Margolyes (Bucket, The Age of Innocence) pops up, the movie lifts up even more. As always she add an amusing and comedy effect to this movie. We don’t know if Jean-Marc Desmond (Boomerang, Rembrandt Bugatti Renaissant) can walk the high wire or not. However, he makes it seems very easy in his role as Bellini.
We’re absolutely sure that we’ll see more from Dixie Egerickx (Genius, The Watcher in the Woods) because she’s superb as the young, naïve girl who’s dreaming big.
Do you want to see a movie that will cheer you up in no time? Then go to a screening of Mirette the first chance you get. You will be transported into a new world. Very vibrant, very open and very colourful. Filled with a wonderful soundtrack and great performance, Mirette is the perfect feel good movie.Liselotte Vanophem
The magical world of adults seen through the eyes of a child have shaped many a family film, the things they see and hear made colorful in the fertile soil of young imagination. So it is with Helen O’Hanlon‘s spritely short film Mirette, a charming bit of old school fantasy that harkens to days gone by with an endearing tale of inspiration and wonder.
Based on the book series by Emily Arnold McCully, O’Hanlon’s adaptation is pretty faithful to the original, bringing to life the unique and colorful story of teacher and student with a gentle touch. Feeling a lot like a live-action musical from the late 1960s – minus the songs – the 28-minute film is a simple tale of finding a dream for one and holding on to it for another. It has no villain and is devoid of conflict, being simply a story of how a little girl who seems invisible to the world can suddenly lift everyone up to the stars. There is a storybook quality to it yes, though is never so fanciful it doesn’t feel authentic. That’s probably O’Hanlon’s greatest achievement, able to capture the magic of the girl’s imagination while keeping it grounded in the world she lives in.
While it embraces a breezy playful tone with amusing characters – the living room of the boardinghouse is always full of costumed performers working their shticks – there is a broader more weighted message that even the youngest of viewers should catch. Little Mirette is quintessential, innocent and hardworking, longing for a chance to bloom and Dixie Egerickx embodies this spirit well, on screen for most of the film. She shares it with some notable names, including the legendary Tom Conti and Miriam Margolyes, both who give Mirette a classic stage vibe.
Still making waves in festivals, this little gem is a delightful catch, skipping grand visual effects and sentimental overtures for a sweet and believable fantasy the whole family can enjoy.
Click on the link below to read the review in full!David Duprey
Based on the award-winning picture book Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully, this beautifully crafted short from
writer-director Helen O’Hanlon is a heart-warming gem.
Set in fin de siècle Paris – lovingly captured in all its sepia-tinged gas-lit glory by DP Mark Stubbs – it’s the story of ten-year-old Mirette whose life is changed when a mysterious stranger pitches up at her grand-mother’s boarding house, a raffish, amiable menagerie of artists, musicians and actors. When Mirette discovers that the stranger, known as Bellini, is a tightrope walker she’s spellbound, and entreats him to teach her the secrets of his daredevil art. Closely guarding a dark secret (as is the way of these things) Bellini is reluctant at first but soon succumbs to Mirette’s persistence and irrepressible charm offensive.
What follows is a winsome, Rocky-style training montage that leads to an uplifting, edge-of-the-seat finale high above the streets
of the city.
Tom Conti and Miriam Margolyes are the big names in the cast, but it’s Dixie Egerickx in the title role who takes the acting honours. With only a handful of credits to her name, she turns in a poised, utterly captivating performance made all the more remarkable by the fact that, before Mirette, she’d had as much experience as a wire-walker as she had as a lion tamer. Hers is a name to watch, even if you can’t spell it. And in the unlikely event she doesn’t become a movie star, she’s got a bright future in the circus.Simon Braund
“How many breathtaking, heartbreaking moments can you cram into a half-hour short? See Mirette and you’ll find out.
Featuring an angelic young actress (Dixie Egerickx) and a wonderful cameo by Tom Conti.
I wanted more.”
Mirette is a new short feature based upon an award-winning children’s picture book, Mirette on the High Wire. Directed by Helen O’Hanlon, this is a beautiful looking film with a sweet heart and some big name actors. It is set about 100 years ago in a Parisian boarding house run by Mémé Gateaux, played by the ever amiable Miriam Margoyles. Her ten-year-old grand-daughter Mirette works in the laundry. Many people from the entertainment world come to stay at the boarding house, and when once-famous high-wire walker Bellini (Jean-Marc Desmond) comes to stay, Mirette is fascinated by the art of wire walking and begs Bellini to teach her.
Although the tale is seemingly simple, there are a number of deeper themes interwoven – friendship, aspiration, overcoming fear and more. All are delicately balanced with humour and warmth of emotion, making the characters easy to relate to. Young Dixie Egerickx is a cinematographer’s delight – the sort of young actor I could hope to see much more of. British veteran Tom Conti lends a vaudeville feel with his heavily-accented character of Charlie Meyer. The look of the film is particularly impressive – the misty edged romanticism of films like Picnic at Hanging Rock combine with moments reminiscent of the frivolity and theatricality of the Belle Epoque and Parisian theatre.
O’Hanlon, whose previous film How to be a Villain, won the jury directing award at the Bermuda International Film Festival, shows immense talent and sensitivity as a director. I look forward to her first full-length feature film.Sharon Hurst