The 400 Blows Review

“The 400 Blows” is one of those movies that famous directors always seem to praise as one of their favourites, that constantly tops polls of the best movies of all time, and after having seen it, it’s not hard to see why.

Based partly on the director Truffaut’s own troubled upbringing, the movie follows the exploits of Antoine Doinel, the rebellious young protagonist of the movie, caught between an unhappy family and an uncaring school. Jean-Pierre Leaud, who would go on to play Antoine in later movies, following his character through his life, is excellent in the role, providing the centre around which the movie turns. He manages to capture Antoine in all his complexity, showing both his independence and swagger as he runs wild through the streets of Paris, and his vulnerability as he struggles to make himself understood to the people around him, even as he acts out.

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The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared

As a young person, I would highly recommend this film, even with its unlikely title ‘The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared’.

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Although the film is mostly in Swedish I didn’t feel it took anything away from my overall viewing experience.  A Swedish film, adapted from the bestseller of the same name by Jonas Jonasson, is  directed by Swedish filmmaker and actor/comedian Felix Herngren.

The film follows the capers of Allan Karlsson (played by Robert Gustafsson as all the adult ages who gives an excellent performance here) , an unlikely hero who decides at age 100 to go out and experience life, an action that for the first time, is of his own volition.  Over the course of the film we follow Allan as he solicits the help of a petrol station owner, a farmer, and a local businessman, each helping him escape from a biker gang who are seeking him to recover a suitcase containing 50 million dollars. Recovering a suitcase is a plot device that has been done numerous times before, in the likes of Tarantino’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ or the Coen Brothers ‘No Country for Old Men’, but while both of those films took a very dark and serious approach to it, ‘The 100 Year Old Man’ does the opposite, and is much more of a black comedy.

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