9 user 6 critic

An Impudent Girl (1985)

L'effrontée (original title)
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.


Claude Miller


Claude Miller (scenario), Luc Béraud (scenario) | 2 more credits »
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Charlotte Gainsbourg ... Charlotte Castang
Clothilde Baudon Clothilde Baudon ... Clara Bauman
Julie Glenn Julie Glenn ... Lulu
Bernadette Lafont ... Léone
Jean-Claude Brialy ... Sam
Jean-Philippe Écoffey ... Jean
Raoul Billerey Raoul Billerey ... Antoine Castang
Richard Guerry Richard Guerry ... Regard sombre
Simon de La Brosse ... Jacky Castang (as Simon de la Brosse)
Cédric Liddell Cédric Liddell ... Pierre-Alain Gallabert
Chantal Banlier Chantal Banlier ... Serveuse perroquet
Philippe Baronnet Philippe Baronnet ... Professeur de gymnastique
Louisa Shafa Louisa Shafa ... Femme vestiaire


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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The film was a loose adaptation of the novel The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers, although that is uncredited. Director Claude Miller said in an interview "It isn't a direct adaptation. There were just enough elements from the book for us to apply for the rights. First of all the Americans who owned them took ages to reply. Then they wanted a huge sum of money, almost as much as the cost of the film." Two weeks before shooting was scheduled to begin, the rights had not been secured so Miller decided to go ahead and make the movie anyway. "Now we're negotiating to pay a reasonable percentage," he said in 1986. "Fortunately the film has been a hit." See more »


Referenced in Spring Blossom (2020) See more »


Le 2ème Concerto de Mendelssohn
Music by Felix Mendelssohn (as Mendelssohn)
Performed by Orchestre des Pays de Savoie
Conducted by Patrice Fontanarosa
See more »

User Reviews

good Charlotte...
27 August 2004 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

François Truffaut and Jacques Doillon who have often worked with children know well one thing: making a movie about childhood or adolescence is a quite difficult thing. Here, it is Claude Miller's turn to broach the delicate topic of adolescence. The less we can say is that he signed here a sensitive and bitter work that brings out enough strength and emotion to compare with the filmmakers' movies previously quoted.

The first indisputable quality that we can put forward is the following one: Claude Miller's film is very far from the clichés generally attributed to teenagers. Charlotte isn't a nymphet, only a teenage girl who is not a happy person and who's searching for love and understanding. The director succeeds very well in making us share his heroine's profound discontentment and Charlotte Gainsbourg won a well-deserved Oscar for her remarkable performance.

Apart from the relevant and convincing description of Charlotte, Miller painted a series of characters who are never on the edge of caricature. Lulu is perhaps a naive little girl and the director somewhat made her look ugly by giving her glasses but he does everything to hide her dumb air. Then, Charlotte's father is presented as a good man and faced with her daughter's insolence, he can contain his anger. One last example, Clara's manager is not obsessed with money. With Charlotte Gainsbourg, it would be unfair to neglect the rest of the cast. Either the actors are young or old, they all have a common point: they are all excellent. This only confirm one gift that Claude Miller had already shown in his first movie, the harrowing "la meilleure façon de marcher" (1976): an excellent direction of actors.

Besides, like in "la meilleure façon de marcher" (1976), "l'effrontée" (1985) is a perfectly stable movie, both funny, touching and where Miller skilfully alternates moments of tension and calm and the rare moments of violence are only suggested like the scene when Charlotte hits Jean with his globe.

Quite obviously, what mainly interested the director in this film is Charlotte's relationship with the most important character of the film: Clara Baumann. Their confrontations constitute the key-moments of the movie. Clara is a talented young pianist and Charlotte blindly idolizes her. She is ready to believe everything she says, even when Clara confides to her that she would like to become her impresario on tour. It is interesting to note down that when she talks about Clara, Claude Miller gently laughs at her naivety. More important, through their relationship, Miller compared their respective worlds. The music used (the song "Sarà, perché ti amo and Mozart) reveal the incompatibility of these worlds and the beginning of the sketched friendship (but is it really friendship?) is eventually bound to fail. To tell this failure, Miller proceeds by little touches: the manager's telephone that doesn't answer, Lulu who creates a scandal during the show. This failure clearly shows Charlotte's disillusion but it doesn't stop the movie to end on a positive tone: when we see the heroine take care of Lulu, she seems to have understood that her place is among her family.

The movie also contains another strong point: the relationship between Jean and Charlotte where Miller favors the progressive rise of tension. For this, he uses the same method as Charlotte's failure with Clara: he proceeds by little touches: the movie they watch at the cinema is "the Exorcist" (1973) and the tension gradually grows and explodes when they are in Jean's hotel room.

I must admit that I don't know enough Claude Miller's work. I only saw "la meilleure façon de marcher" (1976), "la petite voleuse" (1988) and this one "l'effrontée" (1985) but these three films were sufficient to make me a very good impression of this filmmaker and I am long to discover his other opus.

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Release Date:

11 December 1985 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

An Impudent Girl See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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