Zazie Dans Le Metro


(out of 5)

Zazie is excited to come to the big city of Paris for a weekend with her uncle because she wants to ride the subway; huge disappointment, then, when it turns out to be closed due to a strike. Naturally, the next best thing is to cause all manner of mayhem throughout the City of Lights, which she does in this delightfully absurd, brightly coloured comedy that features a hilariously deadpan Philippe Noiret as the man in charge. Traffic jams and madcap slapstick in restaurants is just the beginning of the delicious fun to be had here, with a terrific Catherine Demongeot in the lead and Louis Malle’s impeccably controlled direction doing a fantastic job of making it feel frenetic and carefree without ever letting it get messy. Plus, the photography is simply gorgeous.

France/Italy, 1960

Directed by Louis Malle

Screenplay by Louis Malle, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, based on the novel by Raymond Queneau

Cinematography by Henri Raichi

The Criterion Collection