la joie de vivre

From California to Lyon, France: living & studying abroad…and coming back!

French Film: Pocket Money (l’Argent de poche)

I watched this the other day online on Netflix. It’s a pretty unconventional movie — not much plot or character development — so it definitely takes a certain mood to watch it. I wanted something different after watching the disappointingly bad Emperor’s Groove 2: Kronk’s New Groove.

Basically: the movie is about children and how their lives are much more complex than many people assume.

The movie is called Pocket Change, but at the end of the film, a different title pops up: The town of Thiers and its residents (well, but in French!…which has had me spelling “their” wrong in English for way too long!). I think this is a much more accurate title, since the film revolves around one town and its charming residents. Its main focus are the children, especially one class of boys at the local school who gain a new student, a “special case” who stirs things up.

There are several characters that stand out: the boy who has a crush on his friend’s mom, who has a quadriplegic father, and who isn’t quite ready to talk to girls; the little girl who has a dirty bunny purse and who locks herself in the apartment when her father rejects her purse (and her sad attempt to clean it with the water from her fishbowl!); the two brothers who dress alike and do everything together, including making their own breakfast when their parents are asleep; the boy who lives in a shack and is always tired at school; the single mom who tries her best to take care of her little boy and find a man at the same time; the pregnant couple; the female schoolteacher who doesn’t quite understand boys.

It’s an interesting slice of life (and far more interesting, in my opinion, than Mon Oncle, which has a very bizarre instead of touching POV) of French life in the 70s (yes, they are plenty of shag haircuts and bellbottoms in France, too, in the 70s!).

Picture credits: http://e.dolto.free.fr/blog/index.php?post/2011/11/18/l-argent-de-poche; http://www.dominiquebesson.com/vintage-movie-poster-4439-argent-de-poche-%28l%27%29—original-gouache.htm

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This entry was posted on March 11, 2012 by in French & Francophone Movies.
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