Denis, a hypersensitive teenager, is revolted both against his distant, pretentious, well-to-do parents and their superficial society firends and the stiff, intolerant catholic establishment in which he studies. Fortunately,he has an open-minded philosophy teacher, Father Philippe de Maubrun, who understands him and supports him in his distress. Written by
A harsh criticism of pretentious, heartless parents and their self-centered society friends, "Les Nouveaux Aristocrates" is also the sensitive portrayal of an engaging young rebel and the account of his friendship with his philosophy teacher, a priest unsure of his own faith. One could imagine either Bresson or Bergman or even Dreyer at the helm. And who should be responsible for this profound, thought-provoking drama but two kings of cheesy French comedy : Francis Rigaud ("Les Baratineurs" - sigh ! ) and Jacques Vilfrid ("Deux grandes Filles dans un Pyjama" - Gasp ! ). Just amazing ! And yet I was gripped by their poignant tale. Of course the source is not to be overlooked ( Michel de Saint-Pierre's novel he himself supervised ), nevertheless it must be admitted that they did not betray it.
Into the bargain we are offered an excellent performance by Paul Meurisse, more restrained than usual and we are given the opportunity to discover Michel Galabru wearing a cassock and Paul Preboist playing an anarchist. Very, very unusual and wonderfully unexpected.
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