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  • Colin Fraser


THREE STARS A young man dreams of becoming a celebrated pastry chef.


Starring Riadh Belaïche, Loubna Abidar

Based on the true story of a French Moroccan following his heart, SUGAR AND STARS lives up to its name, a film that’s all sweetness and fairy lights. Diabetics be warned for there’s a lot to swallow as a young boy pursues his dream to become a renowned pastry chef. Not just the onscreen treats which are good enough to eat, but the emotional core of the film which is loaded with empty calories.

Living between foster homes and group care, Yazid will have to work harder than most to make his passion of becoming a truly great chef come true. Yet, one step at a time, it looks like the strong-willed teenager might get there, first in Paris, then on the Côte D’Azur and finally in a career-making competition. But there are hurdles to jump, the biggest being his troublesome mother.

Director Sébastian Tulard, working from a script co-written by the real Yazid, has plenty to work with and doesn’t shy away from turning the emotional screws when asked to - there’s a lot of star-gazing, soaring music and slo-mo to underline his point, as well as beautiful cakes (this is not the film for an empty stomach). There’s also an awkward stop-start to the narrative as if its been pre-built for ad breaks or long form TV. As Yazid ends up lurching through his life, it doesn’t make for the smoothest viewing experience.

All the same, Tulard has given this bright and uplifting story a rich, cosy patina while relative newcomer Riadh Belaïche is compelling in the central role. Although SUGAR AND STARS might not stay with you very long after the initial hit, it is enjoyable company while it lasts.



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