A.V. Club - 04/01/2010
"THE THORN IN THE HEART's home-movie-style images are frequently lovely and the film has flashes of poignancy..."
New York Times - 04/02/2010
"THORN is about as personal a project as you'll see from a major filmmaker: a documentary portrait of Mr. Gondry's formidable Aunt Suzette, a family linchpin and former schoolteacher..."
Los Angeles Times - 05/13/2010
"Gondry captures the leafy radiance of the countryside, and he makes judicious use of special-effects whimsies."
Uncut - 01/01/2011 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n intimate documentary about the maverick film-makers's aunt....It consists of nostalgic interviews..."
Sight and Sound - 01/01/2011
"THE THORN IN THE HEART is an attempt to preserve on film the much loved matriarch of his extended family, both providing a warm tribute to her while she's still around to appreciate it, and bottling the memory of her for the ages."
Empire - 12/10/2010 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] quiet yet enthralling mediation on family life..."
Total Film - 01/01/2011 3 stars out of 5 -- "Michel Gondry turns documentary-maker in this subtle, affectionate portrait of his aunt Suzette..."
Filmmaker Michel Gondry turns from the playful semi-surrealism of ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP to the personal story of a beloved family member in this documentary. Suzette Gondry is Michel's aunt and a retired schoolteacher; she educated children in rural communities in France from 1952 to 1986. While Suzette was committed to the education of all her students, she was a particularly close with one in particular -- her son, Jean-Yves, with whom she's had a loving but sometimes combative relationship. Michel accompanies Suzette on a journey in which she visits the many schools where she taught -- or the sites where those schools once stood -- and speaks of her experiences. She also meets some of her former students, and it's clear they recall Suzette as a woman with a kind heart but a strong will, and her determination earned her the enmity of a few of her charges. L'EPINE DANS LE COEUR (aka THE THORN IN THE HEART) was an official selection at the 2009 BFI London Film Festival.