Truffaut’s cinematic figurehead, Jean-Pierre Léaud, is living a childhood populated with absent or oppressive role-models and petty crime. Based on the trials and tribulations of the director’s own experiences, this was part of the cinematic innovation that birthed the New Wave.
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It's a poignant coming of age story as well as an allegory representative of the alienated post-war generation in France & the birth of the french new wave. At the end, when Antoine is literally frozen in art, we can see that he has finally attained salvation for he has found his freedom. So has Truffaut.
Truffaut's beautiful love letter to all things that are dear to him. His childhood, his dear Paris and his master, Vigo. Truffaut once said that he was only interested in films that captured the excitement and the stress of filmmaking. That's exactly what you find here, as he continues to find breathtaking ways to shoot this child's life. In general, there are few films that capture nostalgia as elegantly.
It is the ending which makes such a profound impact on me. The long take, tracking Antoine running down a rural road, through to him running to the shore on the beach; stopping, turning around and looking into the camera, as if asking us- "Where can I run to now?... Where can I go?" His feet can run no more; the land has met the sea. An ending equal to Mouchette, or Werckmeister Harmonies. Words cannot express.
One of the best films about the universal topic of misunderstood youth.Made over 50 years ago,it holds up because the situations seem real,based partly on Truffaut's childhood.Antoine Doinel is one of the most appealing characters in cinema history. Brilliant performance by Jean Pierre Leaud.
Truffaut's best - a fascinating coming-of-age portrait about how youthful rebellion is intrinsic to one's growth into adulthood. A sly sense of humour is matched by distinctive performances. Very good indeed.