Small Change (L’Argent De Poche) (1976)

FRANCOIS TRUFFAUT

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB

France, 1976.  Les Films du Carrosse, Les Productions Artistes Associés.  Original Scenario by Francois Truffaut, . Cinematography by .  Produced by Francois Truffaut.  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Golden Globe Awards 1976.    

The best film about children made since The 400 Blows, which was also directed by Francois Truffaut. Essentially devoid of a central plot, this irrepressible charmer is made up of various adventures, one more hilarious than the next, that recreate the world from a child’s viewpoint with very little pretense.  In the French town of Thiers, the children of the local schoolhouse are up to no small manner of trouble while the adults hover over them with a firm and loving gaze. The episodes range from terrifying (the unsupervised child who finds fun on the ledge of a window) to hysterical (the little girl who enjoys her police father’s megaphone for all the neighbours to hear) to extremely touching (the poor boy who knows the way to get into the movies for free). Truffaut’s solid direction and excellent screenplay (co-written with frequent collaborator Suzanne Schiffman) combine for an experience that will be over before you’ve even noticed it’s begun. None of these kids see dead people, they’re just trying to make their lives fun and they don’t care how they do it.

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