In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb fast color poster

Fast Color

Hart undercuts the expected "superhero" element of the story, up until and including the final sequence. She's more interested in issues of power and creativity,…

Thumb someone poster

Someone Great

A fluffy romp with a sobering truth: relationships and your twenties may end, but neither signals the end of the world

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Reviews

Such a Gorgeous Kid Like Me

  |  

Francois Truffaut, the most charming and witty of French directors, has somehow got off on the wrong foot with "Such a Gorgeous Kid Like Me." This is the first Truffaut film I haven't liked--and I guess I've seen them all.

After two autobiographical movies, "Stolen Kisses" (1968) and "Bed and Board," Truffaut seemed the complete master of his whimsical, bittersweet style. And "Two English Girls" reminded us of his other dimension, his ability to present sexual passion and compulsion in a way both dead-serious and yet somehow cynical, as if he was keeping his distance from these obsessed characters.

Advertisement

But then came "Such a Grogeous Kid Like Me," which seems to have been half-inspired by Truffaut's well-known fascination for crime, and half-destroyed by its tendency toward predictable farce. The movie is about one Camille Bliss, who is serving a sentence for murder.

Murder, in fact, seems to follow her about; through a series of bets with fate, she has contrived the circumstances under which her father, a mother-in-law and even a rat-exterminating lover have met their ends.

Camille is visited in prison by Murene, a sociologist, who wants to do a thesis on criminal women. Little does he suspect what Camille wants to do with him. Anyway, she's sort of a tart, loud and vulgar, and she starts in with gusto to recount her career in crime. The more he learns of her, the more he's fascinated, until they fall in love and he dedicates himself to proving her innocent of her last crime (a suitor had unhappily fallen from a church tower--or was pushed.)

In the course of his campaign, he finds some home movies that prove her innocent. But they're in the hands of a precocious 10-year-old "director," who won't let them be seen until he's edited them. This scene is genuinely funny, to be sure, but I wonder if Truffaut ever saw that classic short "A Day with Timmy Page," in which another precocious 10-year-old expounds on his cinematic theories and his differences with Fellini.

The rest of the movie is intended to be funny, I guess, but we can always see what's coming. And we have trouble caring about the lead characters. Camille Bliss is too shallow to distract us for more than a moment, and Murene is so bland that we guess he's studying criminal women just to pick up a few tips on how to be interesting. He doesn't get far.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Star Wars, Episode IX Announces Title, Releases Trailer

A report from the Star Wars Celebration on the announcement of the title of Episode IX and reveal of the trailer.

Jordan Peele’s Reboot of The Twilight Zone Lives Up to Original

A review of CBS All Access' The Twilight Zone.

Netflix Returns to the Zombie Genre with Dull Z Nation Prequel Black Summer

A review of the new Netflix zombie show, Black Summer.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus