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In 1942, in an occupied Paris, the apolitical grocer Edmond Batignole lives with his wife and daughter in a small apartment in the building of his grocery. When his future son-in-law and collaborator of the German Pierre-Jean Lamour calls the Nazis to arrest the Jewish Bernstein family, they move to the confiscated apartment. Some days later, the young Simon Bernstein escapes from the Germans and comes to his former home. When Batignole finds him, he feels sorry for the boy and lodges him, hiding Simon from Pierre-Jean and also from his wife. Later, two cousins of Simon meet him in the cellar of the grocery. When Pierre-Jean finds the children, Batignole decides to travel with the children to Switzerland. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This is a rather good simple light movie about a heavy subject. Despite its heavy WW II subjects, such as anti-semitic feelings, collaborates, this movie at all times remains a light and pleasant one to watch, due to its approach and way of storytelling.
The movie is rather simplistic and there is not an awful lot of tension or even surprises in this movie really. Yet the movie is effective since it is well made, has nice characters and a rather nice main plot line that it follows.
The movie is build up well and sets up a good feeling and atmosphere of 1942 occupied Paris and the characters of the movie. Too bad that about half way through the movie the movie suddenly takes another approach and becomes an almost entirely different movie, with different settings and also for some part different characters. It's also obvious that they spent most time and effort on the first halve of the movie that is definitely better looking, more believable constructed and has a better flow. In the second halve of the movie some unlikely events occur and the movie and story at times feels like it was done in a hurry and not everything flows well or reaches a satisfying conclusion.
The movie has some good and enjoyable characters in it and the movie gets carried by Gérard Jugnot, who also directed and wrote the movie, who plays a rather unsympathetic and anti-hero at first but as the story develops he gets more and more human so the speak and starts showing his emotions and expresses his thoughts. This is a nice approach for the main character that also works well for the story. It's a great role by Gérard Jugnot, who shows how multi-talented he is. The young Jules Sitruk also was great in a quite big role. Jean-Paul Rouve was also greatly cast as the future son-in-law and collaborator.
The movie is a good watch but overall the movie is just a bit too light and simplistic to leave a really lasting or powerful impression.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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