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Charming French Film
on November 21, 2010
"Le petit Nicolas" (2009) is a live-action adaptation of French children's book series. Unfortunately I haven't read any of the original stories of "Little Nicolas" (created by René Goscinny and illustrated by Jean-Jacques Sempé), though I read somewhere the books are very popular in France. Well, never mind if you haven't read them either, for "Le petit Nicolas" is a pleasant and amusing film that everyone can enjoy.
The film's story revolves around "Little Nicolas," a happy, good-natured and sensitive boy who loves his parents, and a group of his unique friends (mostly boys). No one, not even their dedicated (and kind) teacher or the pompous school superintendent, can stop the ever-resourceful children from having fun. They are not rude. They are not disobedient. The boys are just having a good time, doing their best to do something good for friends. It is only that their "good" is not exactly what most adults would think. For these boys, hiring a gangster over the phone is nothing special.
Set in the 50s-like nostalgic world, the film has two main stories: one about Nicolas's (groundless) fear of being abandoned by his own parents; the other about Nicolas's parents arranging a dinner with his hard-working father's boss for his promotion. These two storylines, both unpredictable and interspersed with amusing episodes, keeps a brisk pace throughout, before it concludes with a nice finale.
The 91-minute film is helmed by Laurent Tirard, whose works as director includes an engaging romantic comedy "Molière." With its unanimously fine cast and skillful storytelling (that sometimes becomes pleasantly satirical), "Le petit Nicolas" keeps you entertained until the end. Also, a very creative opening credit animation should not be missed.
Gérard Jugnot, star of "Les choristes," (2004) appears briefly in the chorus scene.