6.8/10
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1 user 2 critic

Spoiled Children (1977)

Des enfants gâtés (original title)
A touching portrait of modern life, whether showing the human dimension of large issues, or deftly detailing the intimate reverberations of a casual love affair.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bernard Rougerie
Christine Pascal ...
Anne Torrini
...
Pierre
...
Marcel Bonfils
Arlette Bonnard ...
Catherine Rougerie
Liza Braconnier ...
Danièle Joffroy
Geneviève Mnich ...
Guite Bonfils
Florence Haguenauer ...
Anne-Marie Clairon
Claudine Mavros ...
La mère d'Anne
Michel Berto ...
Muzard
...
Stéphane Lecouvette
Georges Riquier ...
Mouchot
Gérard Zimmermann ...
Patrice Joffroy (as Gérard Zimmerman)
Michel Blanc ...
Le jeune homme de l'agence
Brigitte Catillon ...
Valérie
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Storyline

A touching portrait of modern life, whether showing the human dimension of large issues, or deftly detailing the intimate reverberations of a casual love affair.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

7 September 1977 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Spoiled Children  »

Filming Locations:


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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?

Connections

References The Silence (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Paris Jadis
Music by Philippe Sarde
Performed by Jean Rochefort and Jean-Pierre Marielle
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User Reviews

spoiled children
4 December 2002 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

The `spoiled' of the title is used in its various senses in the treatment written by director Bertrand Tavernier, actress Christine Pascal, and Charlotte Dubriel. The children treated by Catherine Rougerie (Arlette Bonnard) are spoiled because they have `blocked communication'. The tenants of the building where Catherine's writer/director husband Bernard (Michel Piccoli) resides for work purposes are spoiled as they are abused by their landlord. Bernard in his relationship with the unemployed tenant Anne (Pascal) is spoiled since the affair is an indulgence, where he `risks nothing'. Bernard moving to the unit to work is not an overt comment on his marriage, it is just a way of working, and the affair with Anne is more convenient than passionate, at least for him. This, and Anne's situation determine the finite nature of their love. And although the Tenants Defence Committee action brings Anne to Bernard, it and Catherine's teaching and even the film Bernard is writing remain sub-plots, to the affair.

Tavernier also does not present the lovers equally - Piccoli is barely in the love scenes, the most we see is his bare chest with an undone shirt, whereas Pascal is exposed in full frontal nudity. Pascal's gallic urchin child quality, with eye-lined eyes and submissive posture, could recall someone like Audrey Hepburn if the director were interested in presenting her as attractive. However the screenplay's association of love with death and knives and rust clues us into Tavernier's stance. Anne is like the other sad Parisians who are seen in vista as La Traviata plays on the soundtrack.

Although Tavernier's view of urban ugliness is a nice change to his Renoir-ish representation of rural beauty, his films always read as too long. Here he uses hand-held and subjective camera, natural lighting, and a narration which comes from nowhere. The only redeeming qualities are Piccoli's angry outbursts which are funny, Anne throwing food in response to her ex-boyfriend's arrogance, and spotting Isabelle Huppert's cameo.


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