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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.
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on November 13, 2010
My daughter needed this film for her high school French class. She asked me to watch it with her. I have to admit that I sat there and laughed with her the whole time. It is charming and sweet -- and oh, so funny. You will fall in love with the characters -- children and adults. It is a movie to be enjoyed by people of all ages, of any language.
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on November 30, 2012
This movie had us laughing from beginning to end. The children in it are all exceptional actors and the writer is brilliant in his writing and humor. It is the perfect movie for whole family viewing too as there is no nudity, sex nor bad language. I was a little nervous buying this for so much $ but I'm so glad I did. Highly recommended!
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on February 24, 2013
Set in 60s France, all in poster bright cartoon colours and a rather anarchic, slapstick performance style, this is a child's eye view of the world.

Nicolas (an enchanting performance by serious faced Maxime Godart) mistakenly assumes his mother is pregnant and is afraid he will be abandoned and unwanted when the new baby arrives. With his goofy collection of young friends he embarks on various plans to get rid of the baby.

Meanwhile, his parents are worried about money, trying to climb the social ladder, currying favour with Nicolas's father's boss - a hilarious dinner party scene, where you know every single gag before it happens, but delight in the infectious, witty performances.

This really is a totally feel-good film, but done with great wit and style, by all performers.

It is the quirkiness, the great look of the film, the expertise of the performances and somehow a lack of saccharine sentimentality that make this so good.

French Film, English subtitles, 91 minutes. This really is a film that can be enjoyed by both children AND adults. In patronises neither audience, nor does it indulge or overplay its feel-good nature. The length of the film is just right and stops the good jokes and set pieces from overstaying their welcome

I received this as a free review copy
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on March 16, 2011
lovely film both for adults & kids. I'll show it in French with English subtitles to the primary school pupils I teach on world book day.
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on September 4, 2012
Great French movie. This is perfect for my grade 8 French Film Festival!. It arrived super-fast and was brand new, still wrapped in plastic. I was worried about it being the wrong region but only one out of four devices has not played it. I'm very happy both with the DVD and with the service at Amazon :-)
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on January 2, 2013
It is the perfect video to show an advanced French class, after they have read and discussed several of the short stories. The movie is adorable and my students really enjoyed watching it.
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on April 24, 2013
J'aime ce film de Petit Nicolas. Les soutitres sont bons et le francais est fantastique. Je vais le regarder une fois encore.
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on March 3, 2014
This movie is terrific. I watched it with my 8 year old son (he is in French immersion) and we both enjoyed it. I am sure he did not understand every word, but the movie is quite funny even if you don't catch every word. If you have read any Petit Nicolas stories you will enjoy how they managed to weave so many individual episodes into one coherent and hilarious story. The movie is appropriate for a high school or college classroom, but while not offensive in any way, may not be appropriate in an elementary immersion classroom. There is one scene where the humor is based on Nicolas' mother getting drunk because she is nervous and trying to impress her husband's boss. I did not mind my son seeing this (since he does not know what drunk is, he thought she was just being silly). But I would not show it to his immersion class at elementary school. On the other hand, my French 1 college class thoroughly enjoyed the movie. If your students are reading Petit Nicolas they will really get a kick out of this movie.
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on June 2, 2014
Finally, another movie that's appropriate to watch with my French I students. Although it takes place in earlier times, my students will appreciate the pranks and kiddie humor. Nice to enjoy a movie that we can watch without fast-forwarding through bad language or content.
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