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KSL Indie Report: Oscar-nominated film, 'My Life as a Zucchini' comes to SLC

By Travis Poppleton, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Mar. 14, 2017 at 2:03 p.m.



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Editor's note: The KSL Indie Report seeks to highlight independent films, local movie theaters and filmmakers. If you have a nomination, email fjolley@ksl.com for consideration.THE MOVIE THEATER — There is a movie in the world today titled “My Life as a Zucchini.”

Hopefully, that’s news enough to make you kind of smile to yourself on an otherwise ordinary day because, wondering what life would be like as a zucchini should at least be 3-minutes of entertainment. And, if there’s an 80-minute movie that lives up to the title, well then life can’t be all that bad, can it?

As it turns out, there is a quiet and beautiful story behind that wonderfully unique title, and it’s coming to the Broadway Theater this weekend. As always, we’re here to chat about the highlights.

The premise

So what is “My Life as a Zucchini” actually about? In a nutshell, it's about a boy adjusting to a world without the people he loves.

Shortly after the death of his mother, Zucchini finds himself in an orphanage with other children who either no longer have, or are no longer allowed to see, their parents. As each child tries to make sense of a life without family, they learn to find strength in each other and discover joy in the little moments that make up their new lives.

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The PG-13 rating

It’s important to note, that while it's animated, “Zucchini” is not a movie for young kids. This is a story that doesn’t shy away from the heavy issues weighing on each child, though different themes are explained through their naive perspective. As a result, topics like suicide, sex and abuse are explored without parental supervision, which strangely allows for the story to maintain its innocence.

While the unfiltered look at each child is part of what gives this little story its charm, it’s also likely to bring up a lot of questions for younger audiences.

The Island of Misfit Toys

“My Life as a Zucchini” isn’t the first film to ask what happens when you place a group of misfits in the same room, but it may be the most huggable. Everything about the movie is secondary to the story’s characters, which is kind of backward when it comes to animated movies.

If you look at most of the other 2017 best animated feature nominees, you’ll see big, sweeping stories with adorable protagonists. But “Zucchini” just wants its audience to sit at the lunch table with its characters. You’re not going to fall in love with Zucchini, Camille or Simon because you’ve watched them save the world. Instead, they invite you into their world, which is a small orphanage filled with very ordinary objects and tied together with very ordinary events.

At the end of the day, the decision by the writers to stay simple is what makes “Zucchini” stand out in a way that big sets and pyrotechnics never could.

Conclusion

“My Life as a Zucchini” is a very simple film. There is no adventure, no schoolyard heist or fantastic storyline sweeping our characters into ensuing hilarity. When it comes to visual wonderment, “Zucchini” isn’t even in the same hemisphere as “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “Moana” or “Zootopia.” However, “My Life as a Zucchini” will stay with you in a totally unique way because of its commitment to remain as vulnerable as its protagonists.

“My Life as a Zucchini” will begin playing at the Broadway Theater in Salt Lake City on Friday and will be available to rent later this year. It is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and suggestive material.


![Travis Poppleton](http://img.ksl.com/slc/2539/253907/25390738\.jpg?filter=ksl/65x65)
About the Author: Travis Poppleton \----------------------------------

Travis Poppleton has been covering movie news and reviews with KSL since 2009, is a frequent guest on the KSL Popcorn Report podcast and keeps up with all things Utah and film related at over at www.utah.film. You can contact him at tspoppleton@gmail.com or on Twitter at @tspoppleton .

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