An animated feature about a severed hand scampering through Paris has won the top award at this year’s Critics’ Week. Directed by Jérémy Clapin, who’s been picking up awards at festivals around the world for the four short films he’s made over the past fifteen years, I Lost My Body was cowritten by Guillaume Laurant, known for his work with Jean-Pierre Jeunet. It’s the first work of animation to take the grand prize at the showcase of first and second features organized by the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics.
Based on Laurant’s 2006 novel Happy Hand, the film intercuts fast-paced action sequences depicting the hand warding off obstacles in its perilous journey back to its host with flashbacks to the troubled life of the young man it once belonged to, an immigrant from North Africa. “At once creepy and melancholic, I Lost My Body employs its unlikely horror scenario (Clapin doesn’t shy away from the gore, especially in the opening scenes) to channel something deeper and darker, going beyond the mere sensational to arrive at the personal,” writes Jordan Mintzer in the Hollywood Reporter.