In a vacation camp somewhere in the French country, 1960. Marc et Philippe are two of the counsellors. Marc is very virile, while Philippe is more reserved. A night, Marc surprises Philippe... See full summary »
Given up for adoption as a toddler, troubled teenager Thomas becomes obsessed with tracking down his birth mother. After years of searching, Thomas finds her single, with a small child, ... See full summary »
Grieving after the death of her young son Joseph, novelist Betty Fisher enters a dark depression. Hoping to bring her out of it, her mother Margot arranges to kidnap another child, Jose, to... See full summary »
David is an accountant. He leaves town every Friday, pretending he is going to take care of his parents at their old people's home. But actually his parents are dead, and he spends the ... See full summary »
In Nazi-occupied Paris, a young accompanist named Sophie Vasseur gets a job with famed singer Irene Brice. As Irene's husband Charles, a businessman collaborating with the Nazis, wrestles ... See full summary »
Beauvoir, lonely, aging private detective, is put on the bloody track of beautiful Catherine Leiris who kills and robs her rich husband(s) on their wedding night. Although he never ... See full summary »
Catalonian Paco is a traveling rep for a shoe manufacturer. When he stops to pick up Russian emigree hitchhiker Nino, Paco soon finds himself on the side of the road with everything stolen ... See full summary »
Charlotte (Gainsbourg) is being raised without a mother. She is only 13 but ready to be an adult. She meets an older boy and begins a relationship while teaching a young friend about life and learning the ropes herself.
Claire Weygand, a thirty-year-old young woman who is about to defend her anthropology thesis, unfortunately not only feels bad but even worse and worse with each passing day. The migraine ... See full summary »
A boy in his early teens develops a crush on a grown woman old enough to be his mother only to discover she is also attracted to him. Marion (Emmanuelle Bercot) is a headstrong and ... See full summary »
Nicely modulated mood piece, if not quite as disturbing as the book
Screenplay coauthored by Miller and Emmanuel Carrière from the latter's successful and disquieting little mystery-thriller novel about an overprotected, highly sensitive boy whose dreams and fantasies of danger while on a stay in the mountains with his school may or may not presage real events.
Such a movie has plusses and minuses: it allows the filmmakers to bring the feverish visions of young Nicolas (Clément ven den Bergh) to vivid life, but it somewhat undermines the sense of uncertainty about what is real or imagined that makes the book effective.
The boy is stronger than I imagined him reading the story. Let's say that the actor puts on a face of shyness and gloom but I don't quite believe it. Still, as a viewer commented on the French website Allociné, "I feel this film does not betray the book." Apparently not shown widely or at all in the US. Beautifully done with excellent restraint, true to the book's muted style, a minor triumph for the underwhelming Miller, whose last admired film was The Little Thief/La petite voleuse with Charlotte Gainsbourg in 1988. Tied for Jury Prize at Cannes, nominated for Golden Palm.
I wanted to see this because I'd read the book. Easy French. This brought it all back, but wasn't quite as disturbing because you know the fantasies are fantasies, every time. In the book it's from the boy's point of view and you aren't always so sure. Lots of closeups of ven den Bergh's face don't make us see entirely through his eyes. It's all more externalized. Still, a nicely modulated mood piece, an excellent evocation of the darker side of childhood imagination. It's not so easy to be a kid. We forget that sometimes.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?