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Parents' Guide to

Belle and Sebastian: Friends for Life

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Heartwarming sequel is emotionally intense; peril, violence.

Movie PG 2017 91 minutes
Belle and Sebastian: Friends for Life Poster Image

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Belle and Sebastian: Friends for Life is a film that parents and tweens can enjoy together. The French film completes a novel-based trilogy set against the war-torn 1940s and successfully combines history, location, action, and dog-driven charm. The movie is also beautifully filmed, with gorgeous aerial shots of the snowy Alps and their mountain hamlets. The tale may feel far-fetched, but the actors convey authenticity in both the action scenes and the emotional connections these characters have built together over several films.

Belle benefits especially from solid performances by 12-year-old Felix Bossuet and veteran actors Tcheky Karyo, as the hardened grandpa with a tender heart, and Andre Penvern, who lightens the mood as the town mayor. Co-star and director Clovis Cornillac, looking a lot like Leonardo DiCaprio's ravaged frontiersman in The Revenant, infuses Joseph with a sinister determination, though the film never makes clear what his deeper motivations are beyond the price he might fetch for the pups.

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