6.9/10
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Le petit amour (1988)

Kung-fu master! (original title)
R | | Drama | November 1989 (USA)
Mary-Jane asks, "Do all women fall in love with a boy, or just those without sons?" She's divorced with two daughters, Lucy and Loulou. Lucy has a party where Mary-Jane notices Julien, 14, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mary-Jane
...
Julien
...
Lucy
Lou Doillon ...
Lou
Gary Chekchak ...
Un jeune
Cyril Houplain ...
Un jeune
Frank Laurent ...
Un jeune
Aurélien Hermant ...
Un jeune
Jérémie Luntz ...
Un jeune
Thomas Bensaïd ...
Un jeune
Pénélope Pourriat ...
Une jeune
Ninon Vinsonneau ...
Une jeune
Bégonia Leis ...
Une jeune
Eva Simonet ...
L'amie
Judy Campbell ...
La mère
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Storyline

Mary-Jane asks, "Do all women fall in love with a boy, or just those without sons?" She's divorced with two daughters, Lucy and Loulou. Lucy has a party where Mary-Jane notices Julien, 14, small and brassy, but she sees a sensitive side. She contrives to spend time with him and lets him know she's available to him. He's on the cusp between child and man, alternating between playing a video game, Kung Fu Master, where he tries to rescue Sylvie, and joining friends in bluff talk about sexual exploits. As Lucy realizes what is happening, she's repulsed, but Mary-Jane, encouraged by her own mother, carries on. Is it love or jealousy of lost youth? Is there any way this can end well? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was 15. She was 40. Love is where you find it.

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Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le petit amour  »

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Connections

Features Spitting Image (1984) See more »

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Save Me
Written and Performed by P.I.L.
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User Reviews

 
A superb testimony to Agnes Varda's talent as a filmmaker
25 December 2001 | by (State College, PA) – See all my reviews

Having played the arcade game Kung-Fu Master in the 80s, I was nothing short of intrigued to see that Agnes Varda had used it as inspiration for a film. I have only recently been introduced to Varda's films, but cannot imagine the subject matter of this picture being in better hands. That a film exploring the ambivalent space of intergenerational relationships, at least with this degree of subtlety, could not be made in the United States goes without saying, particularly when the relationship involves an older woman and young boy. It also goes without saying that in the hands of many other directors a film addressing this subject matter would fail disastorously. Varda succeeds precisely because she approaches the film as a "love story," if one can forgive the trite expression. Not that she ignores the impossibility of the relationship; rather, by affectionately portraying Mary-Jane's (Jane Birkin) love for Julien (played by Demy's son), Varda confronts her viewer with the profound ambivalence of the situation. One might have forgiven her for accentuating the story with a more ironic tone. However, among Varda's many virtues as a filmmaker is the uncanny way in which she entangles her viewer in a web of feelings and relations, without retreating to irony. Next to Cleo from 5 to 7, this is arguably Varda's best film.


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