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Les Enfants Terribles: (The Criterion Collection) (1952)

1 rating: 1.0
Classics and Drama movie directed by Jean-Pierre Melville

Elisabeth is very protective of her teenage brother Paul, who has been injured in a snowball fight at school and has to rest in bed most of the time. The siblings are inseparable, living in the same room, fighting, playing secret games, and rarely leaving … see full wiki

Genre: Foreign
Release Date: 1950
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Les Enfants Terribles: (The Criterion Collection)...

Good, but not great, and I don't know why...

  • Aug 25, 2007
Rating:
+1
"Les Enfants Terrible" is a collaboration between one of France's greatest authors, Jean Cocteau, and one of its greatest directors, Jean-Pierre Mellville. It should be, and according to many, is, a superb, excellent film. But to me there was something... missing. I don't know what.

The plot of the movie centers around a brother and sister who have an unusually close relationship. It's not made clear in the movie if it's an incestual relationship, but the overtones are certainly there (indeed, when they make references to the "games" they play, one can easily substitute the word "sex", and remove all doubt).

Both children, apparently around sixteen, spend a great deal of time isolated in the room they share, and woe betide anyone who invades their sanctum. All is reasonably well until the sister marries a wealthy man, who soon dies, giving her, her brother and their friends a large house to live in.

From a technical standpoint a lot to admire in this film. There's a great deal of poetry in the visuals, some wonderful acting, and some powerful dialogue. But for me, as I said, something was missing. I'm not sure what it was. I SHOULD have liked this movie more than I did. Perhaps on subsequent viewings, I will like it more.

For now, though, it gets three stars. But at least it's a SOLID three stars, and I certainly don't feel as though I wasted my money by buying it.

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Les Enfants Terribles: (The Criterion Collection)
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