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Genre: Comedy/Drama
Starring: Antoine L'Écuyer, Suzanne Clément, Daniel Brière, Catherine Faucher, Gabriel Maillé
Director: Philippe Falardeau
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2008






Languages: French
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1/2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 50 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: InnoF
orm Media




In the summer of '68, Leon Dore comes close to hanging himself accidentally. His mother saves him at the last minute just like last summer in the pool and like two years ago in the freezer. At ten, Leon has lots of problems and an overly fertile imgination. There is Mom and Dad who are always fighting and those annoying neighbours who get to spend the summer at the beach. And then, there's Lea, the exasperating girl who's always right about everything. When Mom decides to leave everything behind to start a new life in Greece, Leon is prepared to do anything to kill the pain- destroy the neighbours' house, become a professional liar and even, why not, fall in love with Lea. Together, they will overcome the pain of growing up when you feel abandoned.


When was the last time you loved a badly behaved kid to bits in a movie? These ill disciplined brats, if handled in real life, can be a health hazard. But there is something really adorable about them when you watch them carry out their hellish acts on screen. Wait, was the last impishly mischievous kid you loved… Macaulay Culkin? That kid who was left Home Alone (who can forget the scene when he slaps aftershave on his cheeks and screams) and squared off with crooks played by Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci?

It’s time you fell in love with Antoine L’Ecuyer, the latest brat who creates hell for everyone, including himself. And we guarantee that he will break your heart.

L’Ecuyer plays Leon, a problematic 10 year old boy with an overly wonderful imagination. Like any other kid with lots of problems, there is the always fighting mother and father, the irritating neighbours who get the luxury of spending the summer at the beach, and a girl companion who always seems to be right about everything. When Leon’s mother decides to leave the family for Greece, all hell gets let loose. Leon tries everything under the sun to forget the pain, including destroying the neighbour’s house, become a straight faced liar and fall in love with the girl who so often drives him mad. Where will this process called growing up lead to?

You have to hand it to these foreign filmmakers (read: not Hollywood) to be able to make good films like this. Based on Bruno Hebert’s book, Phillppe Falardeau writes the screenplay and directs a cast of capable actors in this 105 minute feature. The Canadian filmmaker manages to make you feel Leon’s pain of growing up, and wanting to overcome the frustrating heartache with him. It does so without a tinge of indulgent self pity, mainly because of the very funny situation setups Leon goes through. So what if you feel abandoned? You have someone to prevail over it with you.

The coming of age film also works because of L’Ecuyer’s rascally wicked persona. You very well know what Leon does shouldn’t be tolerated (the disturbed boy even tries to kill himself on several occasions), but you also empathize with his circumstance to go along for the ride full of childhood whimsy. The flight of his imagination is one you wished you had, but you can only reflect what you had many years ago, look at where you are now, and feel the quiet heartbreak within.




We do not have any complaints about visual transfer of the movie. It is presented in its original French audio soundtrack, with Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 options.



Review by John Li

Posted on 24 May 2010


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This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm Media


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