- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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The 400 Blows
The debut film of critic-turned-filmmaker, Truffaut. A young boy turns to petty crime after being neglected by his parents and teacher. Leaud gives a mature performance as Truffaut's onscreen counterpart "Antoine Doinel." Truffaut builds on the film's theme of nonconformist by filming in a non-traditional way, taking time off from the story to focus on emotional details. A raw film that ushered the Nouvelle Vague. I give it a 5/5.
Franois Truffaut got his nomination for Best Director some years after this film for Day for Night. This film got him a screenplay nomination, in which, unbelievably, he was beaten by the Rock Hudson/Doris day film Pillow Talk. Well, we all know the Academy can crash sometimes.By asking if this is Truffaut's Halloween, I am not suggesting a horror film, although some would consider the pervasive juvenile delinquency in our society to be a horror.I would not tend to describe Antoine, the 12-year-old main character of the film as a juvenile delinquent. He is more just stretching and spreading as he finds his limits and comes of age. He does this in an atmosphere of constant bickering by his parents, and finding out that his mother really didn't want him, and that she is having an affair. All this could, in different circumstance, create a Michael Myers character.Truffaut presents a film that, while devoid of startling action, keeps us transfixed as we observe the mundane life of Antoine. That, my friends, is great writing and great direction.
See it once and you'll want to see it again
Before Francois Truffaut went all mainstream on us, he created a brilliant film, one of the first Nouvelle Vague films. The portrayal of this confused, misguided and isolated Antoine is shown to the audience with great skill and tenderness, but not cheap sentiment. Truffaut allows us to really understand this character, without patronizing the young protagonist.Even the music is great.