Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
France, 1976. Les Films du Carrosse, Les Productions Artistes Associés. Original Scenario by Francois Truffaut, Suzanne Schiffman. Cinematography by Pierre-William Glenn. Produced by Francois Truffaut. Production Design by Jean-Pierre Kohut-Svelko. Costume Design by Monique Dury. Film Editing by Yann Dedet. 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.