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Strayed (2003)
"Les égarés" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  20 August 2003 (France)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,575 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 27 user | 47 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

Emmanuelle Béart stars as a widowed schoolteacher who flees Nazi-occupied Paris with her children. A teenaged boy comes to their rescue by leading them into the forest -- their best shot at survival.

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Title: Strayed (2003)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Odile
...
Jean Delgas alias Yvan
...
Philippe
Clémence Meyer ...
Cathy
Samuel Labarthe ...
Robert
Jean Fornerod ...
Georges
Eric Kreikenmayer ...
Le garde
Nicholas Mead ...
Le soldat blesse
Mike Davies ...
Le jeune gendarme (as Robert Eliot)
Nigel Hollidge ...
Le réfugie
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Storyline

June 1940. German troops are advancing on Paris. Odile, a widowed teacher, succumbs to the widespread panic and, with her two children, joins the exodus from the city. Philippe is on the cusp of adolescence, Little Cathy knows only that they are going South. After fifty kilometres, a German plane attacks, decimating the helpless refugees. Odile and her children lose everything. A shaven-headed youth appears from nowhere and leads them away from the carnage. His name is Yvan, he's seventeen years old. Cut off from the rest of the world and living in confined quarters, Odile and Yvan find themselves confronted with their own desires. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

20 August 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Strayed  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$884,413 (France) (22 August 2003)

Gross:

$482,357 (USA) (10 December 2004)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

The end credits contain a disclaimer that the film is unrelated to the 1983 Goncourt Prize-winning novel of the same name by Frédérick Tristan. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemania: I anodos kai i ptosi tou Nazismou (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Zum ziele fuehrt dich diese Bahn
from Die Zauberfloete
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sung by Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet
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User Reviews

In the chaos of war, a confusion of identities
20 July 2004 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

It's a pity André Téchiné's brilliant little movie, Strayed (Les Égarés) comes to America not long after Jean-Paul Rappeneau's Bon Voyage, which treats the same event, the French wartime flight from Paris to the countryside, in a much more buoyant, charming manner. The contrast may make the much lower-keyed Strayed look a bit drab. But it's an intense, haunting film and pure Téchiné with its sexy, somewhat ambiguous relationships and intense encounters across generations.

The sad-eyed, lovely Émmanuelle Béart is Odile, a recent war widow with a 13-year-old son, Philippe (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet), and a seven-year-old daughter, Cathy (Clémence Meyer), on the road with all the others, in their own auto. Then suddenly when the convoy they're in is strafed by stukas and bodies are lying around and their car's a mess and they don't know what to do, a youth named Yvan (Gaspard Ulliel) appears out of nowhere, leads them into the woods to safety, and finds a big abandoned house for them to stay in.

Yvan is a wild, lean young man with a hard body and sheared-off hair, like the brother Benoît Magimel played in Téchiné's 1996 Les Voleurs. Odile and her children are Paris people; they're brave but inept in these circumstances, and Yvan has survival skills they lack. Camping in the recently abandoned house, these people live for a few days as an unconventional family. Yvan is big brother, younger brother, husband, elder son, outcast, wild boy, protector, or provider to the others, alternatively indifferent and willing to do anything to stay with Odile.

The wartime context has been clearly established and we know this can't last. There are curious paradoxes. The household is mad, disturbed, yet idyllic and peaceful. Yvan is wise beyond his years, yet ignorant and uncivilized. It emerges that he can't read. Philippe is a weak child and looks up to and tries vainly to bond with Yvan. But he's more civilized than Yvan, more mature in moral sensibility. It's clear that Yvan's sense of property is vague and so are his origins. He tells a strange story about a friend who has died, but his background remains mysterious.

Strayed is as sad and brutal and incomprehensible as the war itself, and as such has more in common with Michael Haneke's apocalyptic Time of the Wolf (also just released in the US) than with Rappeneau's operatic, comedic, but ultimately hard to care about Bon Voyage. In Strayed, you don't have time as a viewer to prepare for anything, just like the characters. Suddenly Odile's car was hit and people nearby were dead. Suddenly a young man pulled Odile and her children off into the woods. Suddenly, after the odd idyll in the nice house has gone on for a few days, with Yvan catching rabbits for the others to eat, two French soldiers from Sedan appear and spend the night at the house. Suddenly when their awkward and threatening visit ends Odile and Yvan make love out in the dirt, like savages. Suddenly the whole interlude is ended and Yvan and the little family are separated. Yvan is taken away, and Odile and her children are in a refugee camp, little more than prisoners. Their moment of luxury and experimentation is over. C'est la guerre, Téchiné style.

It's not contemplative: it's so vivid and immediate that, were it not for the crowd scenes and Forties clothes you'd question if it has any period flavor, but it's touching and alive and it leaves you a little bit devastated – if you've been paying attention – with just a hint of what it's like to be marked by war's abrupt gifts and deprivations. Strayed works on a smaller scale than Téchiné's best films, but you feel the Téchiné style in every scene. However modest, this is a compelling and accomplished piece of work.


36 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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