7.7/10
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26 user 13 critic

Toto le héros (1991)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 19 June 1991 (France)
Thomas and Alfred were born around the same time; a fire in the nursery had nurses scrambling to save the newborns. Because he felt that he deserved Alfred's good fortune at being born into... See full summary »

Director:

Jaco Van Dormael

Writers:

Didier De Neck (collaborator), Pascal Lonhay (collaborator) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 16 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Fingers dart in a miniature decor, cameras float and dance along, a voice narrates. Film-maker Jaco Van Dormael and choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey make a film before your eyes. A poetic ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michel Bouquet ... Old Thomas / Voice of Adult Thomas
Jo De Backer Jo De Backer ... Adult Thomas
Thomas Godet Thomas Godet ... Child Thomas
Gisela Uhlen Gisela Uhlen ... Old Evelyne
Mireille Perrier Mireille Perrier ... Voice of old Evelyne / Adult Evelyne
Sandrine Blancke Sandrine Blancke ... Alice
Peter Böhlke Peter Böhlke ... Old Alfred
Michel Robin ... Old Alfred (voice)
Didier Ferney Didier Ferney ... Adult Alfred
Hugo Harold-Harrison ... Child Alfred
Fabienne Loriaux Fabienne Loriaux ... Thomas' Mother
Klaus Schindler Klaus Schindler ... Thomas' Father
Patrick Waleffe Patrick Waleffe ... Voice of Thomas' Father / Official
Pascal Duquenne ... Adult Cèlestin
François Toumarkine François Toumarkine ... Adult Cèlestin (voice)
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Storyline

Thomas and Alfred were born around the same time; a fire in the nursery had nurses scrambling to save the newborns. Because he felt that he deserved Alfred's good fortune at being born into a wealthy family, Thomas conceives the idea that he and Alfred were switched at birth, and he can't help seeing that his unhappiness should be Alfred's, from the loss of his sister to his inability to have a relationship with the woman Evelyne. So, as his life is ending, he formulates a plan of revenge against his bitter enemy, his lifetime adversary, the man who stole his existence. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and sensuality (nudity) | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Belgium | France | Germany

Language:

French

Release Date:

19 June 1991 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Totò the Hero See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,228,153
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The lines after the fight on the train, "Out, out, brief candle! / Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player....", are from 'Macbeth' Act 5 Scene 5. See more »

Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #10.2 (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Boum
Music by Charles Trenet
Lyrics by Charles Trenet
Performed by Charles Trenet
Societe EMI France
(c) Edition Vianelly
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Time it Was Yesterday at the Same Time

Ask me what time it is. Very very very strange and very entertaining bit of European cinema from Wacko Jaco Van Dormael, a former circus clown turned director. This film about fate, love, and childhood fantasies gone awry is very hard to describe. Imagine a kids film directed by Lars Von Trier, add a dash of "Amelie," a scent of "Donnie Darko," a sprinkle of Lynchian strangeness, and a good heaping of Terry Gilliam inspired wackiness, place in a blender, then travel back in time (as this movie came long before and probably inspired "Amelie" and "Donnie Darko") and voilà, you'll have "Toto." Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny (everybody seems to love those dancing tulips), sometimes weird, always captivating, this is a film for people who enjoy non-linear and creative story-telling. Also, that much talked about floating plastic bag stuff from "American Beauty" is taken straight from this film's unforgettable final scenes. Dormael seemed to have so much good stuff going on in this film, it's ashame he's only made one film since this, as any film buff who watches it will no doubt imagine a few more great films being pulled out of Dormael's magician's hat.


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