Lonely boy growing up in post-war France wonders why his father won’t talk to him, and why his mother won’t let him play with the teddy bear in the attic. Long-time family friend finally explains that, before the war, the father had another wife, another son — and another religion. Lonely boy grows up be child psychologist helping other lonely boys and, ultimately, helping his father come to term with the guilt of having survived.
This is the kind of character-driven film the French do really well, and one of the few to deal honestly with the country’s collective amnesia about its wartime collaboration. Recommended.
Featuring Matthieu Amalric, last seen as the Bond-Villain in Quantum of Solace, another in the long line of fine European actors (Rutger Hauer, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Javier Bardem) typecast as villains in American movies.