The feisty, sullen ten-year old heroine of this often cold and cheerless coming-of-age import is, as the title suggests, a kindred spirit to Antoine Doinel in 'The 400 Blows', but any resemblance to Francois Truffaut's film ends there. Besides being uncomfortably adrift between adolescence and maturity, Louise also has the disadvantage of being a Tunisian Jew living in metropolitan Paris, an intriguing cultural blend opening conflicts not even touched in Charlotte Silveira's single-minded screenplay. The writer director is clearly working from first-hand experience: the exchanges between Louise and her younger sister are priceless, but the story is probably more bleak than it needed to be, pitting the young protagonist against her shrill, domineering mother, an underwritten character who could have used a little more depth.
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