SUGAR AND STARS is a French film based on the autobiography of Yazid Ichemrahem, a young guy who overcomes family issues to be one of the best pastry chefs in the world.
The non-linear story telling technique used in Sugar and Stars is becoming more common, used in Oppenheimer for example.
Moving back and forth between the past and the present, this movie takes the viewers on a journey through Yazid’s life.
I initially thought it was pitched as a comedy, but it seemed confusing and a little dark as the story interweaves Yazid’s young life with a dysfunctional mother and baby brother and a college age Yazid coping with foster home and group home for the troubled.
The film begins by introducing a young Yazid, portrayed by a Marwan Amesker, facing family issues including a dysfunctional mother and the loss of his baby brother.
As a child, Yazid, dreams of being a pastry chef but due to the challenging circumstances at home, he only has posters on his wall which allow the dreams.
However, he blossoms with his loving foster family where the son teaches him to bake cakes for the special occasions.
The older Yazid, (Riadh Belaiche) is trying to keep his head down at a boy’s college where he faces the challenge of balancing his dreams with the hardships of his past.
This is where I was confused as the two protagonists do not look anything alike in characteristics as the narrative weaves these two timelines together, revealing the connections with his troubled family life and his determined present.
As the story unfolds it delves not only into the hardship but also the relationships Yazid forms and the obstacles he confronts as his creativity and perfection for baking is showcased.
Like MasterChef, the food looks divine and you just wish they were cooking for you.
While initially confusing with its dark undertones, the movie evolves into the uplifting and heartwarming story with the fusion of determination, perseverance and personal growth, against all odds.
by PAULA HOLLAND