In Toni, Camille Cottin stars as a single mum of 5 exploring life’s possibilities after kids

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Toni is about a single Mum of 5 (Camille Cottin (The Mystery of Henri Pick, AFFFF 2020, Call my Agent)) who starts to explore life after kids. With her two eldest preparing to finish high school and look at further studies and the other three already teens, Toni realises that the life of laundry, cleaning, school drop offs and pick ups and dinners for 6 will soon change and that the whole world is open to her.


When her eldest son, Marcus (Thomas Gloria, Madeleine Collins, AFFFF 2022, Custody, AFFFF 2018), is looking at study possibilities, Toni starts to consider the idea of studying something herself too. Apart from a pop hit 20 years ago, and casual work, all she has known in her adult life is parenthood. Looking after the kids and house has been a full-time job for so long that she doesn’t know anything else.


The family isn’t as encouraging as she had hoped when she announces to them that she’s applied to study teaching. She is greeted with “but you’re old” (she’s only 43) and “how will this affect us?” That ageism is also present at the job centre who suggest that at her age perhaps studying to be a carer is a more appropriate path than teaching.


Toni’s parenting style is in response to that of her Mum. Toni’s Mum had pushed her to pursue a singing career in her late teens, and is still pushing her to try to pick it back up – even giving her address to an agency that keeps calling about a TV show on past stars. Toni takes a much more reserved approach with her own children letting them choose their own paths, but that is interpreted by the eldest daughter Mathilde (Léa Lopez, Benedetta) as a lack of encouragement and support.

Toni, en famille

The film Toni isn’t completely serious though and there are moments of humour sprinkled throughout right from the opening scene when at school pick up, Toni drives off before everyone else in the car yells at her. She’s forgotten one of them. Camille (Louise Labèque, Angry Annie, AFFFF 2023, In Therapy). It must be difficult to keep track of 5 of them! Or the kids’ repeated requests for pizza and Toni’s refusal and then in the next image, a man with a stack of pizza boxes at their door.


Camille Cottin plays this role of a Mum trying her best and starting to explore the idea of something just for her with empathy and humour. Toni is an uplifting film exploring motherhood and opening yourself up to the possibility of more.


Matilda Marseillaise watched a screener of Toni

FUN FACT: Nathan Ambrosioni, writer and director of the film Toni, says he chose the name Toni because of our very own Australian Toni Collette saying: “Toni is also a tribute to the craft of acting, specifically to the actress Toni Collette, whose work I admire, particularly the ambiguity she injects into her roles.“



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