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Strayed (2003)

Les égarés (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, Romance, War | 20 August 2003 (France)
Trailer
1:50 | Trailer
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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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Odile
...
Jean Delgas alias Yvan
...
Philippe
Clémence Meyer ...
Cathy
...
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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Color:

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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Captivating characterizations
21 May 2004 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Andre Techini's "Strayed," or perhaps more accurately, "the lost" or "displaced" people, has a simple premise. A school teacher, whose husband was killed in the early days of the war, takes her two children and flees Paris in the face of the Nazi advance on the City of Lights. In the countryside, as they are stuck in a massive traffic jam made up of refugees, they are strafed by German fighters in a harrowing scene that reminds you a little of the bombardment of the advancing troops in "All Quiet on the Western Front."

They lose their car and all their possessions, but are rescued by a strange, resourceful teenager who becomes their guide, companion, but in some ways, their charge, as they try to hide out -- from the war itself.

This is the kind of film that most American audiences wouldn't like, because after that strafing run, not another shot is fired, not another blow struck. The story that plays out is about the main characters getting to know, tolerate and even grow found of one another, but then finding themselves faced with some uncomfortable choices.

Gregoire LaPrince-Ringuet is very good as the 13-year-old boy of the family who might have been elevated to the man of the house status, had not the mysterious teenager arrived on the scene. But rather than show resentment, he winds up doing everything possible to become the older boy's friend.

Gaspard Ulliel is quite effective as the older boy, a sort of domesticated wild child. But the film belongs to Emmanuelle Beart, who plays the mother.

Beart's character is fascinating. She has lost her husband, her home, everything she has except her two kids. She is on the road with them, dead broke, dead tired and close to despairing. But of course, she is a tower of strength, right, magnificently holding her family together in the face of personal disaster and global chaos.

Actually, no. Beart's character is depicted as a woman clearly out of her depth who can barely keep herself together in the face of the problems confronting her. She's like a ticking time bomb, ready to completely fall apart at any moment. The only thing that holds her together is her rigid, school teacher training that allows her to continue to run her fugitive family as if she is maintaining order in a classroom during an unplanned fire drill.

And it works. Beart comes off neither as the typical weak, frightened woman Hollywood movies presented so often in the 50s, nor the kick butt superwoman that we see so often in American films today. Beart is so frightened during the air attack that she pees in her pants. She is so in need of structure to take her mind off things that she starts cleaning the windows of the abandoned home they later hide in.

But she is also together enough to handle a couple of French soldiers who drift by, easily dealing with them when her self-appointed teenage protector is so unsettled by these two potential rapists he can't even stay in the house with them.

Beart underplays her role, which features spartan dialogue to begin with. But there is a lot going on for her and you see it all playing out in her eyes, and behind her eyes as well.

It is another great performance from this French star and the film would be worth seeing just to study her acting, even if she were not one of the screen's great beauties.




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