Au Revoir, Les Enfants


(out of 5)

Instant classic by the magnificent Louis Malle, based on his own memories of growing up in Nazi-occupied France. A young boy lives at his Catholic boarding school in the French countryside and becomes friends with a boy he later realizes is Jewish and has been hidden at the institution by its kindly Father. Our young hero is going through his own difficulties with adolescence while at the same time discovering the realities of his very cruel world, during which a friendship blossoms with the boy whose secret fascinates him. Malle’s writing and direction don’t equal the youthful fervour of Murmur Of The Heart, nor is it as effective an observation of World War II France as Lacombe Lucien was, but the film is surprisingly subtle, beautifully working its way over you until an emotionally overwhelming conclusion. The acting by a mostly nonprofessional cast is superb, and the photography is beautiful. Look for a gorgeous young in one of her first films as the unbelievably patient piano teacher.

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France/West Germany, 1987

Directed by

Scenario by Louis Malle

Cinematography by

Produced by Louis Malle

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  Venice 1987

The Criterion Collection

Cast Tags:  , ,, , ,, , ,, , ,, , , , ,, , , , , , ,  ,  , , ,

Academy Award Nominations
Best Foreign Language Film (France)
Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) (Louis Malle)

Golden Globe Award Nomination
Best Foreign Language Film (France)

New York Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Foreign Language Film

Los Angeles Film Critics Award
Best Foreign Film (Louis Malle)

National Board Of Review Award
Top Five Foreign Films

Venice Film Festival Award
Golden Lion

Independent Spirit Award Nomination
Best Foreign Film

British Academy Award
Best Direction (Louis Malle)

Best Film
Best Film not in the English Language
Best Screenplay – Original

European Film Award
Best Screenwriter

European Film Of The Year
Best Director (Louis Malle)

Cesar Awards
Best Film
Best Director (Louis Malle)
Best Screenplay, Original or Adaptation
Best Cinematography
Best Sound
Best Editing
Best Production Design

Most Promising Actor (Francois Negret)
Best Costume Design



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