New York Times - 02/12/1988
"...[AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS is] a work that has the kind of simplicity, ease and density of detail that only a film maker in total command of his craft can bring off, and then only rarely....So moving..."
New York Times - 12/25/1988
Included in the New York Times "10 BEST FILMS OF 1988"
Los Angeles Times - 02/18/1988
"...Very moving....The film is a testament to the power of the medium and to the art of the writer-director in dealing with an overwhelming personal experience..."
Sight and Sound - 05/01/2006
"[The film works] miracles with an unknown cast of young players in a fact-based World War II-era story..."
USA Today - 04/14/2006
"A brilliant Louis Malle comeback from fairly late in the director's spotty but brilliant career..."
Widescreen Review - 05/01/2006
"[A] touching and sad story based on events from director Louis Malle's own childhood."
Description by OLDIES.com:
This movie tells a heartbreaking story of friendship and devastating loss between two boys living in Nazi-occupied France. At a provincial Catholic boarding school, the precocious youths enjoy true camaraderie - until a secret is revealed. Based on events from writer-director Louis Malle's own childhood, the film is a subtle, precisely observed tale of courage, cowardice, and tragic awakening.
This autobiographical recounting of Malle's most tragic memory begins in 1944 at an all-boy Catholic school. A young boy befriends a new student whom the others feel is different. When he discovers the new student is a Jew, he tells no one and remains a true friend. Tragedy strikes when a school employee tells the Gestapo they are hiding Jews and the student is arrested and taken away.
Louis Malle based this semi-autobiographical film on a painful childhood memory. In occupied France, Jews had to hide to stay alive. But young Julien Quentin isn't aware of this, and when several new students arrive at his Catholic school, Julien knows only that he likes Jean Bonnet, one of the new boys. They two become fast friends; then, one day, Julien figures out the truth about Jean: he's Jewish, and in hiding from the Nazis. And in a moment of irrecoverable thoughtlessness, Julien makes a tragic mistake...
Race Relations |
The film won the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival, as well as 7 French CÚsars, including Best Picture.
Academy Award Nominations: Best (Original) Screenplay.