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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film to be cherished
I haven't seen this movie since its original theatrical release, but it's one that stays with you forever. The great french actor Michel Simon, whom many U.S. moviegoers may remember as the crusty old locomotive engineer in "The Train", plays an aged french anti-semite who becomes the unaware guardian of a little Jewish boy sent to his farm to escape Nazi persecution...
Published on April 24, 2007 by Barefoot Boy

versus
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One Telling Too Many
A Parisian Jewish lad is sent to the country during WWII, easily conceals his ethnicity, and returns home at war's end. Between his going and coming is a sequence of vignettes that become increasingly tiresome and meaningless. None of the characters gains anything in the way of wisdom, understanding, or wiles.
Michel Simon is outstanding as the old man who gives...
Published 21 months ago by Carolyn Paetow


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film to be cherished, April 24, 2007
This review is from: The Two of Us (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
I haven't seen this movie since its original theatrical release, but it's one that stays with you forever. The great french actor Michel Simon, whom many U.S. moviegoers may remember as the crusty old locomotive engineer in "The Train", plays an aged french anti-semite who becomes the unaware guardian of a little Jewish boy sent to his farm to escape Nazi persecution. The simple story of bonding and endearing friendship despite their diverse backgrounds is made especially compelling by the superb performances of the film's two main players.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "If you have to direct, you've chosen the wrong actor.", July 1, 2007
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This review is from: The Two of Us (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
The addition of "The Two of Us" to the Criterion Collection disappoints only in having taken too long to come to fruition. Besides the justly celebrated film, we are given a booklet containing an appreciative review by critic emeritus David Sterritt and autobiographical excerpts by Francois Truffaut and the film's director, Claude Berri, together with the usual acknowledgments, scene titles, and cast listing. Extras on the DVD include Berri's Oscar-winning short, "Le Poulet," historical clips of veteran actor Michel Simon--the old man--and contemporary interviews with Berri and with Alain Cohen who played the child and who is instantly recognizable forty years later. It is a splendid store, and students who are assigned--as they will be-- criticisms to write will find everything they need and more for plagiarizing.

All this and the movie, too! Simon, Cohen and Berri have been amply praised by critics with stronger credentials than my own, so I will allow the interviews and the film to speak for me. What higher praise for the acting than this from Berri: "If you have to direct, you've chosen the wrong actor." How better to summarize the film in one line than by the child's question before he meets the old man: "Why doesn't he like Jews if he is nice?" The old man is all that a surrogate grandfather should be: empathetic, loving, comforting, and playful. "I'll teach you myself," he says when the boy is cruelly treated at school, and teach him he does, from an abundant store of misinformation and prejudice, which the boy pumps from him with the impudent certainty that it is all nonsense.

When the village children and their teacher are cruel, it is casual cruelty to a stranger from Paris, not to one of the hated Jews. The war is there, too, with propaganda from the radio, rationing, and overhead bombers, and we are aware, as the child is not, of the devastating consequences should he forget his Catholic prayer, his false name, or the need to dress and bathe in private. Berri, in his interview, says that amidst much suffering, it was possible to be happy during the war, as he was and as is the child in the movie. It is no less an indictment of racism that these two escape its tragic consequences.

I don't speak French, but the subtitles are more than adequate. The dialogue isn't irrelevant, but most of the time the situation is more than clear with no dialogue at all.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Possibly the Best Movie Ever!, March 3, 2009
By 
Ryan Paulson (Winston Salem, North Carolina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Two of Us (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
This has to be one of the best movies I've ever seen. Hardly any film I've watched before or since has resonated with me as much as this film did.

Story-
During the occupation of France during the big one, a Jewish boy is being far too wild for his parents to control. He doesn't quite grasp the gravity of what Nazism means and rightly so he's just a kid. To protect him, his family sends him to live with their landlords father. The old man who he lives with is very anti-Semitic. They form an incredible bond together and truly show that it doesn't matter who or what you believe its all about human connection. I can't quite put it into words how well the little boy and older man execute their roles is phenomenal.

Presentation-
Criterion gave their excellent treatment to this film. Shown in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1. There is hardly any grain or pixelation to speak of. The clarity of the print is excellent and definition is superb.

Sound-
Everything comes through very clear. There is very little clicks or hiss in the audio track. Excellent.

Extras-
One of Criterion's trademarks there's boatloads. So many I'm not even going to name them all. Some of the highlights however would be some documentaries, a short film, commentaries and the usual booklet that accompanies most Criterion films this time with an essay and some of Berri's(the director) memoirs.

Excellent, superb, lovely.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Flick, September 10, 2007
By 
readernyc "readernyc" (New York City, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Two of Us (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
Absolutely charming. Michel Simon and the young Alain Cohen are so endearing I watched this film twice the first I opened it. No pain all gain, this during WWII in France, 1944-end of war.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching WWII Story of a Jewish boy and Catholic family, July 17, 2008
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This review is from: The Two of Us (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
This is a wonderful film. It is in French with Engilsh sub titles. It takes place in German occupied France. A young couple send their 8 yr old boy to the country to stay with the land ladies parents. He has to keep his secret that he is a jew and pretend to be at Catholic. The old man is so funny and so in love with his old dog that he feeds at the table from a spoon. The couple are so kind to the boy. The child has fears and is not treated too well by the other children but the old man is is friend. It is just touching and leaves you feeling good in the end. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves War time stories.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Friend in Need, March 15, 2008
By 
Randy Keehn (Williston, ND United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Two of Us (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
I had heard the "The Two of Us" is a great movie and I was not oversold; it IS a great movie! It gives us a personal look Occupied France, anti-Semitism, and the needs of two people who have lost their connections. The way the movie brings these two characters, an old man and a boy, together is intelligently done. Once they're united, the movie really takes off.

The boy is a Jewish child from Paris whose mischeviousness seems to draw a lot of attention to himself; just what his parents don't need. The opportunity comes to send him to live with the elderly parents of a friend in the countryside near Grenoble. The elderly man is most definitely NOT Jewish. Our young hero finds himself alone in a strange place. The old man can't understand or even abide his children and he and his wife seem to spend much of their time in disagreement with one another. Our elderly hero finds himself alone in a familiar place. They readily take to each other and the beauty of the film is how it portrays the genisis and growth of their relationship. There is much that is said about the time and place that this film took place in. However, the extremes of France in 1944 merely serve as an amplifier to the story of a most unusual friendship.

The acting and directing were superb in "The Two of Us". To be honest, I won't remember the names but I WILL remember their preformances. I kept wondering where did they find the guy who plays the old man. You have to see him to believe him yet his acting is outstanding (not just another funny face). The boy is endearing and the way they evolve together is even more so. This movie is a masterpiece of joy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, human, joyful film, May 9, 2009
This review is from: The Two of Us (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
I can't say enough good things about this film. Just watch it and let it touch your heart...you'll be a better person!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ENEMY WITHIN, October 29, 2007
By 
Daniel S. "Daniel" (Geneva, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Two of Us (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
1967. First full-length movie written and directed by Claude Berri. This film earned three awards during the 1967 Berlin International Film Festival. This Criterion DVD also presents Claude Berri's short film LE POULET which earned the Oscar in 1962. Masterpiece.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful film, October 6, 2007
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This review is from: The Two of Us (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
I saw this film many many years ago, and it's indelibly etched in my heart.... beautifully done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love French, you have to own this movie! A Classic!, November 16, 2013
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This review is from: The Two of Us (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
I adore Michel Simon... this DVD is a classic I watch several times per year. It is a heartwarming story and so very French. Even though Michel's character is a bigot he is almost laughable (and loveable); he unknowingly showers so much affection on this little boy (whom he does not know is an object of his bigotry) as he hides him (unwittingly) from the Nazis. I love Michel's character's relationship with his wife....'Mémé, ma potion!! (alcohol, not medecine)', the scenes in front of the radio, the meals, the schoolyard teacher and kids, the education of the little Jewish boy by PéPé, and the love that develops between everyone. It us fun to sing the soldier's marching song along with the movie... 'Vive Le Pinard!' PéPé's dog, Kinou, is another star! Even vegetarianism is dealt with (PéPé doesn't want the little boy to eat MéMé's rabbits... he calls a meat eater a cannibal. I think even Kinou is a vegetarian.
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The Two of Us (The Criterion Collection)
The Two of Us (The Criterion Collection) by Claude Berri (DVD - 2007)
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