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  • Summary: Ludivine Sagnier stars as Lili, the love and muse of an idealistic young filmmaker named Julien. At odds with the serenity of the breathtaking French countryside, Julien rebels against his mother and her guests, while multiple intrigues of lust and power play out behind the scenes. (First Run Features) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 15
  2. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. Miller's quiet artistry is at its peak, and though "Lili" is not as subtle, profound or moving a work as Chekhov's play, it's an intelligent, first-rate piece of cinema.
  2. 80
    It's the third feature Miller has shot using lightweight digital video cameras, and the result is a special lightness in the work itself -- the glowing images ease into one another like leaves turning in a summer breeze, while the performances are similarly effortless.
  3. 75
    The third act departs from Chekhov and is original with Miller; it not only makes a nicely ironic point, but, because he takes his time with it, allows for a meditation on the distance between art and life.
  4. For all its spikiness, there are hurdles that La Petite Lili cannot overcome. Abridged and abbreviated, Chekhov's leisurely philosophic reflections evoke a musty aroma of pressed flowers in a scrapbook that is out of tune with the times.
  5. 60
    La Petite Lili isn't conventional or crowd-pleasing enough to appeal to audiences who like their foreign films safely sentimental, but it's also not daring enough for those who expect art to hurt a little.
  6. La Petite Lili itself is pretty good, but it is also assured to the point of glibness.
  7. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    True to Chekhov's dictum, a gun does fire near the end -- by which point eye-rolling audience members may be up in arms too.

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