Forbidden Games (2015)

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Movie Info

One of the first films to see the horrors of war through the eyes of children, Forbidden Games was a critical smash, winning prizes from the New York Film Critics, the British Academy, and the Venice Film Festival. Adapted by Francois Boyer, director Rene Clement, and two others from Boyer's novel, the story focuses on Paulette (Brigitte Fossey), a five-year-old refugee from Paris taken in by a peasant family after her parents are killed during a bombardment of a civilian convoy. Michel Dolle … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Pierre Bost, René Clément, Jean Aurenche, François Boyer
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 6, 2005
Box Office: $4.3k
Runtime:
Times Film Corporation - Official Site

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Cast


as Paulette

as Michel Dolle

as Madame Dolle

as Georges Dolle

as Berthe Dolle

as Francis Gouard

as Jeanne Gouard

as Raymond Dolle

as Red Cross Nun

as Jeanne Gouard
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Critic Reviews for Forbidden Games

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (5)

The movie is clearly not interested in sugarcoating or sentimentalizing WWII, even though Clément has every opportunity to do so.

Full Review… | April 23, 2015
Time Out
Top Critic

[It] has gone from the exemplar of what expressive narrative filmmaking could be to something more elegiac: This is what it now rarely even dares aspire to.

Full Review… | April 22, 2015
Village Voice
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 20, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Rene Clement's 1944 adaptation of Francois Boyer's novel is an exquisitely unsentimental movie about the corruptive effect of war on children.

Full Review… | April 19, 2009
ColeSmithey.com

Audience Reviews for Forbidden Games

Two children bond over creating a pet cemetery during WWII.
The first fifteen minutes of this film are more effective than most blood-and-guts, modern-day war films. Focusing on the cavalcade of refugees and a little girl and her pet, director Rene Clement personalizes war that post-modern filmmakers balk from. The rest of the film follows Paulette, played with all the sweet innocence in the world by five-year-old Brigitte Fossey, and her friendship with Michel, a boy who lives on a farm. The children attempt to hold on to their innocence while coming to terms with the realities of death and war. The film loses me in the subplot about stealing crosses and neighborly rivalry; I suspect each of these relates to a metaphor Clement tries to develop or a commentary on religious comfort in times of sorrow, but I couldn't fully understand how the metaphor applied.
Overall, Forbidden Games isn't a children's film, which is how many modern studios might have perverted it in order to fit the marketplace, and it isn't a war film; it transcends both generic categories and becomes something more profound.

hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Forbidden Games tells of a girl orphaned by war who met a boy from a peasant family. He loves her. She loves him. Theirs is not just a story of young star-crossed lovers, but more significantly, how war robs childhood of its innocence. It is a love story, with compelling selfless details and unfathomable depth. Unforgettable.

Jan Marc Macababayao
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

As I've said before stories with children in major roles are always a gamble for me. Rare is the child who comes across as believable, especially in dramatic situations.

What a wonderful surprise this was as both Brigitte Fossey and Georges Poujouly do a remarkable job as Paulette and Michel. And not only are they the two youngest actors, they may well be the best two actors in the film (in my opinion).

The first fifteen minutes of this film are (aside from some chessy stock war footage) truly gut wrenching. Which was completely unexpected coming from a film of this era and really set a tone for the trials and tribulations of poor little Paulette. Paulettes puppy Jocko was a real source of distress for me as well, although he is sort of the foundation (along with her parents) for what transpires later in the film. It was hard to get past some of his "scenes" without feeling uncomfortable. (Don't want to give too much away)

While it does suffer from some predictable sub-plots and unintentional (era specific) cheesiness...the bulk of the film focuses on the innocence of children and speaks to their resilience. Though our two little scamps do go down a (slightly) dark trail, it is their love for each other that is the heart of the film.

While this is no "Ponette" in terms of heartbreaking emotion...if the last ten minutes of this film dosen't tug on your heart strings...you may want to call a cardiologist and have your heart checked.

RCCLBC
Robert C

Super Reviewer

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