Review By: Boo Allen
The Criterion Collection brings to Blu-ray Louis Malle’s delightful film that paved the way for “Amelie.” Based on Raymond Queneau’s immensely popular novel, it, according to included notes from film scholar Ginette Vincendeau, “invents words, defies syntax and spelling, and persistently mixes street slang, profanities, and philosophy.” In a bonus interview with co-screenwriter Jean Paul Rappeneau, he states that Malle approached the film by incorporating as many cinematic techniques as Queneau did literary ones. The story of a ten year-old girl (Catherine Demongeot) coming to Paris to spend a weekend during a subway strike with her aunt and uncle gives the director license to fly around Paris with changing scenery, colorful characters, and boundless cinematic inventiveness. Whimsical and enchanting.
Not rated, 93 minutes. The digitally remastered disc, looking excellent in its Blu-ray transfer, offers archival interviews with Queneau, Rappeneau, the assistant director, Demongeot and her parents, and two separate interviews with Malle from 1960.