Nicolas has a happy existence, parents who love him, a great group of friends with whom he has great fun, and all he wants is that nothing changes. However, one day, he overhears a ...
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Nicolas has a happy existence, parents who love him, a great group of friends with whom he has great fun, and all he wants is that nothing changes. However, one day, he overhears a conversation that leads him to believe that his life might change forever, his mother is pregnant! He panics and envisions the worst. Written by
The enervated teacher who tries to get the kids to sing in a choir is played by Gérard Jugnot. He was Clément Mathieu in The Chorus (2004), a teacher who (successfully) starts a choir in a school for troubled boys. See more »
After the production companies involved, the opening credits only continue after a seven-minute introduction of the main and supporting characters. See more »
I enjoyed myself that evening. Others (French) might not.
French people might understandably be disappointed by a theatrical adaptation of the beloved Petit Nicolas, a character so familiar from their childhoods, but as one who was never mesmerized by the original form of these character, I did not go into this with expectations.
But it's a fun little ride. The costumes, the décor and the acting are all impeccable--Valérie Lemercier is especially delightful. So, too, is the writing: the story is predictable, tidy, socially non-offensive and slightly fantastical--but self-consciously so. It is a tribute to and a mild, good-natured parody of 1950's aesthetic and moral values in filmmaking, and it works very well. Most contemporary period films delight in opening up the curtains on the skeletons of what they see as "repressed" past societies and in poisoning our sentimental collective memories with gritty filth (see « 8 femmes » for an excellent French example; "Titanic" for a classic Anglo-American textbook example).
« Le petit Nicolas » is just here to remind us of what we were once supposed to try for--and it makes us wonder if it wasn't in some ways better than what we have ended up with... without, of course, being too moralizing. It makes for a good little weekday evening pick-me-up.
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