Louis Malle tell his personal and heartfelt story from WW2 without too much sentimentality and unrealistic twists. The ending actually left a lump in my throat even if I knew it was unavoidable. Irene Jacob took the world with storm in her breathtaking debut role as a piano teacher.
Simply a masterpiece of direction and screen writing. The relationship between Bonnet and Quentin is understated and underplayed, like much of the film, but therein lies its power. The viewer doesn't realise the investment in character until the end, when in a climatic surge of repressed emotion, we feel the pain and awful truth of it all. The acting, from the boys to the monks, are so believable, it actually hurts.
Malle’s dedication to his own personal experience growing up in a catholic boarding school during WW2 and befriending a Jewish boy passing as a Christian. Malle got a close and personal experience with antisemitism. A great coming of age/friendship film that is naturally connected to a terrible time for humanity.
Absolutely the most tender, understated coming of age story that exists. Malle explores the nostalgia for childhood and the illusions of adulthood from the respectively opposite points of view. The young Manesse and Fejtő give two profound performances, rooting the film in a really deeply emotional place- it's hard not walk away from this one heartbroken.