Nénette and Boni

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Nénette and Boni
FrenchNénette et Boni
Directed byClaire Denis
Written by
Music byTindersticks
CinematographyAgnès Godard
Edited byYann Dedet
Release date
  • 1996 (1996) (Locarno)
  • 29 January 1997 (1997-01-29) (France)
Running time
103 minutes

Nénette and Boni (French: Nénette et Boni) is a 1996 French drama film directed by Claire Denis, written by Denis in collaboration with Jean-Pol Fargeau.


After the death of his mother, Boni (Grégoire Colin) moves his friends into her house and begins working selling pizzas. He entertains violent sexual fantasies about a baker (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) who lives nearby. He is visited by his younger sister Nénette (Alice Houri), whom he is estranged from, who reveals that she is pregnant and moves into his home against his wishes.

Reluctantly, Boni begins to take his sister to doctor's appointments where they learn it is too late for her to have an abortion. As Boni gradually warms to the idea of being an uncle, Nénette looks into having a Jane Doe birth which will allow her to give birth anonymously and have the child adopted immediately. However, after Boni insults her for considering the option she attempts to abort the child at home, passing out before being rescued by Boni.

At the hospital Nénette bans Boni from the birth of her child, but he returns later, armed with a gun, and kidnaps his nephew, bringing him home to take care of him.



The film had its world premiere at the 1996 Locarno Festival. It was released in France on 29 January 1997.[1] The soundtrack to the film, created by Tindersticks, was released in 1996.[2]


Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 85% based on 13 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 7.3/10.[3] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 70 out of 100, based on 10 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[4]

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, calling it "one of those movies that is saturated with sensuality but not with explicit detail."[5] Derek Elley of Variety wrote, "In a change of tack from her previous pics, Denis adopts a patchwork of styles that gives the movie an irreal, highly metaphysical flavor."[6]


Award Year of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Locarno Festival 1996 Golden Leopard Nénette and Boni Won [7]
Best Actor Grégoire Colin Won
Best Actress Valeria Bruni Tedeschi Won
Special Mention: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Nénette and Boni Won
Independent Spirit Awards 1998 Best International Film Nénette and Boni Nominated [8]


  1. ^ "Nénette et Boni". AlloCine. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  2. ^ Swihart, Stanton. "Nenette et Boni [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] - Tindersticks". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Nenette and Boni (Nénette et Boni)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Nenette and Boni". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger (28 November 1997). "Nenette Et Boni". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  6. ^ Elley, Derek (26 August 1996). "Nenette and Boni". Variety. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  7. ^ "1996: 49th Locarno Festival". Locarno Festival. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  8. ^ "History Results". Independent Spirit Awards. Archived from the original on 1 September 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2020.

External links[edit]